Like previous two years, in the last year too Prime Minister Narendra Modi managed to grabbed headlines.
Three years ago, our country had witnessed “Modi wave” when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India after a “historic win”.
After these three years, the wave turned into “tsunami” when Modi-government witnessed another historic win in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in March this year.
People have been waiting for “achche din” from past three years. Some people have found Modi’s decisions as bold as his personality like surgical strike and some people feel his decisions will harm country’s economy.
After the year saw lots of ups and downs, 2016 saw a big ‘jerk’ on November 8, when in a surprise move, Modi announced the ban of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes and introduced new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes with immediate effect. The announcement left the whole country ‘cashless’.
The government had given time till December 30 to deposit old currency in banks.
As per the government, the decision was taken to curb black money floating in the country. After the decision, the banks were flooded with cash as people lined up outside the banks to deposit old notes. The ATMs started drying up creating ‘cash crunch’ situation in the country.
The whole ‘demonetisation movement’ had hit business confidence and dented demand for loans, hurting banks that were already battling the weakest loan growth in nearly two decades, a Reuters report had said.
However, the things took a U-turn when banks started slashing home loans rate. This led to a pick in demand for home loans.
Considering this demonetisation period as an opportunity, Modi government started promoting ‘Digital India’.
Modi started talking of a cashless society that involves higher usage of e-wallets like Paytm, RuPay cards and MobiKwik Lite and higher credit or debit card swipes since the time he took charge.
When the economists and analysts predicted a downfall in the GDP of the country in the current fiscal, the numbers which were released in January, proved all of them wrong. The experts were expecting India’s growth to be below 6.8%.
Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation in February released data said that India’s GDP growth for October-December 2016 stood at 7.0% at constant prices GDP growth in second quarter stood at 7.4%, 7.2% in the first quarter.
Moreover, the economy came out of “demonetisation phase” at faster pace as expected.
2. Goods and Service Tax (GST):
On August 24, the much awaited Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha with a unanimous vote in favour of the bill. After being the opposition to the Bill for many years, Modi-led Government had finally managed to convinced opposition, terming it as ‘one nation one tax’ rule.
GST, a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer will be a destination based tax. To decide the tax rate, the government had formed GST Council on September 12. Since the formation of GST Council, till now, various meetings have been held chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Earlier, the government was looking for its rollout by April 2017. However, the government later changed the date to July 1, 2017.
It was only yesterday, when GST Council decided rates of 1,211 items.
3. Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)
In order to give a push to digital payments, Modi on December 31, 2016 had launched a new mobile application called BHIM.
BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts. BHIM is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), as per the application’s summary given at Playstore.
The App is a simplified payment platform designed to make Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and USSD payment modes simpler and usable across feature phones and smart phones, the report added.
“The day is not far, when people will conduct their business through this app…It is a simple app and you can download it on your smartphones or feature phones. You don’t even require internet connection for this,” Modi had said during the launch.
The number of people downloaded this app is over two crore as till on April.