On January 2, PM Narendra Modi from the dais of a public gathering held in Karnataka transferred a total of ₹12,000 Crores into the accounts of 6 crore farmers across India by clicking a button. This was no ordinary dole – it was in fact the third tranche of PM Kisan Yojana.
One could argue that there were schemes for farmers in the past too. The schemes of the Modi government are however different due to one major factor – transparency. Initiatives are not meant to be only on paper; by making them digital, transparency in the system is ensured.
In the same programme, PM Modi explained this in detail. “There was also a period in the country, when one rupee was sent for the poor in the country and only 15 paise reached the beneficiaries. And now, money is reaching the poor directly without the intervention of the middlemen.”
Direct and Not Anyone’s Discretion
An examination of the UPA farm loan waiver, such ‘once in many years’ model doesn’t make a long-term impact. As the documents of UPA era clearly show , the loan waiver which was granted in 2008 only once benefitted 3.45 crore farmers with Rs. 52,275.55 crore being spent. In contrast, , the PM KISAN benefits 12 crore farmers every year to the tune of Rs 75,000 crore. Most importantly, one does not have to run from pillar to post to avail the benefits of the Modi govt’s schemes. The beneficiaries are specified, and the benefit is directly transferred to their bank accounts.
Contrast this with the farm loan schemes of Congress-ruled states where there are instances like a person with several thousand rupees of loan getting a waiver of only ₹13. This is what happens when any scheme or initiative lacks transparency and its execution is left to somebody’s ‘discretion’.
Plugging the Leakages & Seamlessness
PM Kisan is one among many examples on how the Modi government has ensured last mile delivery of government incentives and schemes. We have plenty of examples from the first term of Modi government itself, like geo-tagging the assets created through MGNREGA, PMAY houses, and toilets under Swachh Bharat, wherein any local administrator simply can’t deceive the system by simply showing works merely on paper. It all comes back to the concept of the power of button or a single click where everything is held accountable, leaving no scope for the leakage of public money. Even in the instance of GST, it has become easier to detect tax frauds with all the supply chain and the service providers coming on one platform. As this Hindustan Times report on December 17, 2019 has revealed, ₹ 8.5K-cr GST fraud detected in 7 states, UTs.
While in all these instances we see plugging the leakages a main feature, this transparent system of digitisation also ensures seamlessness. As we are witnessing in the transport sector, FASTag that allow electronic toll collections at toll plazas is witnessing fast adoption compared to to earlier trends. According to a recent report by CNBC TV18 the average daily toll income for the NHAI has registered a sharp rise to Rs 85-80 crore compared to an average daily figure of around Rs 60-65 crore — an over 40 percent jump. If the trend holds, it will contribute in a big way for seamless movement of traffic on road and also the better tracking.