Home / Politics / Policy /  Two years on, NDA govt’s relationship with key stakeholders

As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) completes two years in power, Mint takes a look at its relationship with key stakeholders.

The opposition

• Leader of opposition post: The Congress party was denied the post in Lok Sabha by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, citing lack of numbers.

• Opposition outreach: Ahead of the winter session of Parliament last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh to discuss parliamentary proceedings.

• Toppling elected governments: Congress and other opposition parties have criticized the BJP-led central government for political crises in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand

• Legislative business: Despite a widening political rift, opposition parties and the government came together to pass key bills, except the goods and services tax bill.

The judiciary

• Judicial appointments: The Supreme Court rejected any role for the executive in appointing judges to higher courts, saying the move infringes on judicial independence.

• On policy: On drought, bad loans and allocation of coal blocks, the apex court has criticized government policy.

• Political turmoil: The Supreme Court will rule on role and powers of state governors, after President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand .

• Aadhaar: Supreme Court set to decide if privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Ruling could either strengthen or completely weaken Aadhaar.

• Freedom of speech, right to dissent: The apex court upheld the criminal law related to defamation while scrapping Section 66A of Information Technology Act that reduced free speech.

Citizens

• Social media connect: Direct information flow from government to citizens through social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The government has used these platforms to issue official press statements, clarify positions and resolve complaints.

• Mann ki Baat: Modi started addressing the nation on All India Radio from 3 October, 2014, including messages and suggestions from listeners across the country.

• Grievance redressal: The government launched a mobile application to redress grievances relating to all central public entities, called CPGRAMS.

• Transparency: Most government departments upload minutes of official meetings, communications to state agencies and regularly update statistics about various performance goals like power capacity addition.

• mygov.in: Policy proposals are uploaded here, and the public can give suggestions, participate in discussions and share experiences.

• Apps: Real-time information on status of rural electrification, payment of wages, etc., via mobile apps.

Activists and NGOs

• Leaked intelligence report in June 2014 suggested foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were hurting India’s development.

• Crackdown on NGOs. Licences of over 10,000 revoked.

• Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai offloaded from a London-bound flight.

• Intolerance debate: Dozens of authors and artists return awards saying government was not controlling rising intolerance.

Right-wing groups

• Debate around beef ban.

• Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy: BJP’s student group led campaign against JNU student’s union office-bearers, accusing them of making anti-national comments.

• Opposition from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated groups like the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh over labour reforms and the reduction in provident fund interest rates.

• Opposition from Swadeshi Jagran Manch, another RSS affiliate, over commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Support base

• Stand-up India scheme to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship among women, scheduled castes and tribes by helping them get easier loans from 10 lakh to 1 crore.

• Mahila E-haat: An online marketing platform for women entrepreneurs.

• Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana: Another financial inclusion scheme, providing loans between 50,000 and 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs.

• Nai Manzil, a skill development scheme for girls from minority communities.

Big business

• Telecom: Inheriting a sector that was marred by controversies and scams, the NDA government established a rules-based regime in the telecom sector. The 2015-16 spectrum auction garnered 1.09 trillion, giving credence to the national auditor’s claim that allocation of spectrum had caused substantial losses to the national exchequer.

• Coal: Like in telecom, coal auctions were also transparent and the total proceeds from it crossed 2 trillion.

• Real estate: The government passed the real estate bill in Parliament. It brings much-needed transparency in the sector, hold builders accountable and seeks to protect home buyers. For builders, it provides speedy clearances, standardization and simplification of procedures.

• Information technology: The 2014 BJP election manifesto promised to make every household digitally empowered. The Digital India programme aims to create “broadband highways" of 600,000km across the country. The scheme has attracted attention of multinational firms such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

• Automobiles: The NDA government promised to make automobiles a lynchpin of manufacturing in India. But, it has paved the way to ensure that Indian automobiles meet the highest regulatory norms. It announced that India will move to Bharat Stage VI emission norms in 2020, skipping the Bharat Stage V, in order to tackle pollution.

• Steel: Keeping its promise of protecting the domestic industry, the government introduced a 20% safeguard duty on steel imports. The government also raised basic customs duties on steel twice in June and in August last year by 2.5% each time.

• Oil and gas: The government has linked the price of diesel to market prices, and prospectively replaced the existing profit-sharing arrangement in hydrocarbon exploration with a revenue-sharing formula. It also put in place a transparent single licence and policy framework for oil, gas and coal-bed methane exploration in the country. The government also allowed a liberal pricing formula for natural gas to be recovered from deep, ultra-deep, high tension and high temperature areas. The move is expected to benefit ONGC, Reliance Industries and GSPC.

• E-commerce: The government has allowed 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in online retail of goods and services under the marketplace model through the automatic route. It also allowed 100% FDI in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India. In November last year, the government also allowed a manufacturer to sell its products manufactured in India through retail e-commerce.

• Aviation: A new aviation policy, showcasing key areas of reform, is ready for clearance by the Union cabinet. The main proposals of the policy include allowing new airlines to fly abroad, the introduction of more regional flights and a new formula for granting bilateral flying rights.

State governments

• Recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission were accepted, increasing states’ share in central taxes to 42% from 32%.

• Number of centrally sponsored schemes cut from 72 to less than 30, giving more flexibility to states to decide on schemes as per their requirements.

• Consensus on the goods and services tax between the centre and states, with the latter signing off on the Constitution amendment bill for the ambitious tax reform.

• Political flash points in Centre-state relationships.

• President’s Rule imposed in Uttarakhand, citing a constitutional breakdown following a rebellion in the ruling Congress party.

• President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh after 32 Congress legislators tried to topple the Congress state government.

• Delhi government moves Supreme Court against centre after home ministry notification 21 May giving the lieutenant-governor additional powers.

• Uttar Pradesh refuses a water train sent by the centre for its parched region of Bundelkhand, saying the state needed tankers, not trains.

• CBI raids Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s house and 12 other addresses associated with him. Congress calls it political vendetta.

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