By Prof. Vivek Singh
India is progressing towards mission self reliance. Narendra Modi coined this term after becoming prime minister of country. He has launched many schemes and economic packages in last 6 years to make people of India & Indian industries self reliant. Ayushman Bharat, Maternity Scheme, Kisan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri employment generation scheme, Ujjwala scheme, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Loan Scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana, Beti Padhao Beti Bachao, Cleanliness Mission, Ujala, Namami Gange, Smart City, Skill India, Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India, Stand-up India etc. These schemes are making indians self-reliant by providing economic and social security to all sections of society.
India is self-sufficient in terms of food grains. India is able to feed not only the countrymen but the entire world. India has also become self-reliant in the field of health sector today. The country is self-sufficient in the production of medical equipments ventilators, PPE kits, N95 masks, medicines.Today there are 1564 labs for Covid19 testing in the country, conducting 9.5 lakh tests per day. Till date 3 crore 95 lakh Covid19 tests have been done in the country. Many modern hospitals and medical colleges are being opened on lines of AIIMS in the country. In the last 5 years, about 45000 seats have been increased in the country for MBBS and MD studies. Everyone will get a Health ID under the National Digital Health Mission containing all medical details of the person.
The APMC Act has been drastically changed to make the farmers and laborers of the country self-reliant. 7 crore poor families have been provided with free gas cylinders. Food grains provided to 80 crore people for free. Direct cash transfer of 90 thousand crore has been made available to BPL families. In order to make the customers of the country self-reliant, the government has also introduced Consumer Protection Act 2019 in the country in which a lot of new provisions are being added to strengthen the customers. Now companies cannot cheat customers. With new Consumer protection Act 2019 customers of entire contry will become strong and self-reliant.
There are plans to form economic clusters to make the rural areas self-sufficient. Optical fiber has reached nearly 150000 villages. Within few years 450,000 more villages will be added in it. 110 aspirational districts of the country have been selected. Special efforts will be made to provide better education and employment to people living in these selected districts. To make farmers self-reliant and to develop modern infrastructure, infrastructure fund of Rs 1 lakh crore is being provided.
Women, half of the country’s population, are becoming self-sufficient. The landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in which daughters are given equal rights in paternal property. Whether flying a fighter plane or working in key position in a corporate sector, women are self-sufficient in every field today. There are about 22 crore women accounts in 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts. More than 70% of the 25 crore Mudra loans, have been given to women. The women have become self-sufficient. Minimum age for marriage may be increased from present 18 years to 21 years in coming days. Environmental protection and corporate social responsibility were made an integral part of industrial policy. country has been successful in reducing imports and increasing exports. Foreign capital investment terms were eased. Special emphasis is on service sector. Leading banks were integrated. Decision of demonetisation taken to curb black money in the system. More financial support has been arranged for MSME Sector.
In the year 2018-19, more than 4600 crore digital transactions recorded in India. The country’s foreign exchange reserves is now of $538 billion. Our GDP is of $ 3.2 trillion. The country received a record $73 billion of foreign direct investment in the year 2019-20 with growth of 18%.
Today, the entire world is almost having financial problems due to Covid 19 pandemic, while there is no visible and far-reaching impact on Indian economy. Indian foreign exchange reserves are continuously increasing week by week, indicating the economic progress of the country. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India, in the week ended 07 August 2020, Indian foreign exchange reserves rose by $3.62 billion to touch a record level of $538.19 billion.
There are only five countries in the world having foreign exchange reserves of more than $500 billion. China ranks first with a foreign exchange reserves of $3298 billion. Japan 2nd with $1402 billion. Switzerland 3rd� with a foreign exchange reserves of $896 billion while Russia at 4th with $590 billion and on 5th place it’s India with foreign exchange reserves of $538 billion.�In addition, Taiwan has foreign exchange reserves of $496 billion, Saudi Arabia has $497 billion, Hong Kong has $446 billion, South Korea has $416 billion and Brazil has $349 billion. Countries that we consider as economic power such as Singapore have $321 billion, Germany has $245 billion, France has$ 238 billion and UK has only $179 billion of foreign exchange reserves.�
USA, the most economically powerful country of the world has only $132 billion of Foreign Exchange reserves. India had foreign exchange reserves of $400 billion in September 2017 which increased to $500 billion on June 5, 2020. Today the country has enough foreign exchange reserves to support import for more than 18 months. Such a pleasant situation was never before in the history of India. The country’s foreign exchange reserves of more than half a trillion dollar is a testimony to the country’s economic condition and country’s continued economic development.
economic indicators are showing progress of self reliant India. $538 billion dollar foreign exchange reserves, import substitution measures, increased foreign direct investment inflow, ban on import of defence items, emphasis on renewable sources of energy, measures to develop rural economy, 20 lakh crore economic package, MUDRA scheme, Ease of business environment, promotion of local products and industries, special attention towards farmers & agriculture, strengthening of infrastructure facilities, focus on MSME and service sector, vocal for local & make for world strategy, changes in economic policies and acceleration of economic reforms will certainly make India self-reliant.
(The author is columnist, professor of Commerce, Political and Economic Analyst. He can be reached at [email protected])