THAT Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and his colleagues in the Government have begun their serious work in less than 24 hours after swearing-in ceremony, was evident from the fact that the first meeting of the Union Cabinet took place at 5 p.m. on Friday and many important decisions were taken for immediate implementation. In some cases, earlier programmes were extended, and in some cases newer schemes were introduced. The Union Cabinet, thus, made a fine blend of the principles of continuity and change as the Modi Government took the field for its second innings which the whole world is watching with a keen eye.
By acting so swiftly by allocating portfolios and then holding the first Cabinet meeting to make some critical decisions, Mr. Narendra Modi silenced a nonsensical criticism about the swearing-in ceremony that took the whole Thursday evening. Some so-called intellectuals feared that portfolio-allocation would take at least week and then the new Government would start its work once the Ministers cozy up with the setting. The quick gearing up and launch of actual work of the Ministers beginning with the Cabinet meeting silenced the critics as well as indicated to the people that the Prime Minister meant business -- as usual, quick and decisive, and in the larger interest of people.
The nature of the decisions the Cabinet made says it all. The pension schemes for farmers, shopkeepers, and small traders, the fund allocation for the livestock vaccination scheme, dynamic changes in the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme -- each of these decisions demonstrated the line of action to be expected in the next five years. The stress is on lower and middle layers of the economic pyramid so that the people occupying that segment enhance their income-potential and better and higher living indices. This is a very important idea of economic enhancement of individuals.
For, in essence, the decisions are aimed at hiking indices of economic stability even in after-years. The most important dimension of this thinking is that there is no populism involved in it, and no connection whatsoever with with electoral gains. For, the elections are just over and there is no pressing need to please chunks of people right away. Yet, the Union Cabinet spent a good deal of time and energy to arrive at the decisions so important to liven up the individual economies of the people in lower and middle payers of the pyramid. When the happiness quotient of the lower and middle income layers improves, the whole economy becomes more productive.
This scientific thought -- as proposed and promoted by countless economic and social thinkers from Arya Chanakya to Mahatma Gandhi to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar to Dr. Gunnar Myrdal to Dr. Amartya Sen -- got woven into the system by the Union Cabinet right in its first meeting to start scripting the story of what Mr. Modi often calls New India. Of course, many of these decisions -- such as the pensions schemes for farmers, shopkeepers and small traders -- are parts of the election promises made by the National Democratic Alliance. The people, thus, will realise how quick the new Government is in fulfilling its promises to the sovereigns.