DEAR PM SAHIB.....

about 1 year ago
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Dear PM sahib,

26th May 2018. That marks four years of your tenure in the largest democracy on earth. Congratulations on that! After the Karnataka debacle you might not exactly be in a celebratory mood but it does mark a victory and deserves celebration.

Modiji, you have indeed earned a few feathers in your cap. Foremost for you would be the fantastic rise in direct tax filers and collection; 9.9 million new IT filers in FY18 is no small joke! But at the same time, these very tax payers have never felt their shoulders to be so heavy – the middle class population is dying under the burden of so many cesses and taxes with no benefit whatsoever.

And three cheers for giving India the title of being the fastest growing economy in the world. In these four year, we saw growth going up to 9% and coming down even to 5.7%. We have to hand it to you for keeping the sentiments so buoyant and positive irrespective of the benefits received. Private consumption has gone up and so has Govt investment but sadly, you have not yet been able to propel the private sector to open their purse strings and invest in big ticket projects. You have done your best to kick start ‘Make in India’ but that does not seem to have gone much ahead. Some stalled projects have got a new lease of life and good job on that!

PMji, irrespective of whatever you do and did in these 5 years, you will largely be remembered by one and all for demonetization and GST – the double whammy in the past 18 months has left many sectors maimed and some yet to recover fully. And we don’t know if those close to you told you or not but for your information, age-old habits die-hard and people are back to cash and once again hordes of cash is being stashed away; yes, Modiji, black money is back in business!

Guess, inflation too will be one of the feathers donning your cap but let’s be honest, it was thanks to a large extent due to the lower oil/fuel prices and bountiful monsoon. Currently, it is a nightmarish scene for you; rising crude and 11th straight day, fuel prices have gone up. When you were in the Opposition, despite the very same circumstances, you ripped the UPA to pieces and promised you will not let it happen. Well….

Kudos to you for implementing the Insolvency and bankruptcy code but the mounting crisis in banks, the Nirav Modi scam has cast a very dark shadow on everything else. By the way, the news on the circuit is that all your foreign trips have not really materialized into anything concrete, yet.

Your pet peeve project, Swachch Bharat is collecting good money but the data which you publish, the annual list of the cleanest seriously needs work. Mumbai was listed as the cleanest city in India and Maharashtra called it defecation free. Sorry to say this but it is none; it remains filthy as ever. And while on seriousness of data, IIP and GDP, inflation, agriculture, land sown; almost all data needs a rework. We are losing faith. By the way, wonder when you will get your staff to start publishing employment data.

Sirji, you have done exceedingly well when it comes to welfare schemes. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana or PMJDY, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana or DDUGJY and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana all have done a good job – at least that is what the data so far says. Much better than macroeconomics for sure. But what did not do well is Pradhan Mantri Kasushal Vikas Yojana or PMKVY – the skills initiative project really did not take off at all. Modiji, you had promised in 2010 that you will create 10 million jobs – that we believe was one of the big reasons for your thumping victory. But sadly, in these four year, you have been able to create only one million jobs. This is something which you will be answerable to; this broken promise might come to bite you.

We really do not want to spoil the party by getting into the changing social fabric of India, looking more rightist and lack of freedom of speech and expression. We just let that be…

Am sure you are gearing up for the oncoming election campaigning but we beseech you to speak more about your five years and less about Rahul or what UPA did or did not do; that old tactic might not work this time.

It is a tough job, running this diverse country of over 1.3 billion. We thank you for keeping it safe from terror attacks and giving a sense of well-being. Hope the next year is not only about politics with nothing about economics.

Thanks and wishing you the best for times ahead.

Regards

Ruma Dubey

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