ince the Modi government has come to power, we have noticed many things happening. Such as 30 million fake LPG connections, the Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG scheme or DBTL (also known as PAHAL), billed as the world’s largest cash transfer programme, and has weeded out over three crore bogus subsidised domestic cooking gas connections, saving billions of rupees for the exchequer.
Out of the 15 crore subsidised LPG connections, 12 crore beneficiaries have authenticated their connections under the DBTL by linking their bank accounts. Of these, about 8.5 crore have also linked their Unique Identification Number (Aadhaar) to bank accounts. The remaining three crore were bogus connections as nothing was done by the beneficiaries to validate these. LPG subsidy “a complete success but three crore connections, were assumed to have been cancelled”. The fact that the use of commercial cylinders has gone up in recent months is in itself an indication (that subsidised cooking gas was earlier being diverted for commercial use). In contrast, commercial (unsubsidised) LPG consumption grew steadily since the DBTL launch. It is a clear indicator of bogus domestic connections (misused by commercial users) having been weeded out.
Another fake got exposed of 21 million bogus ration cards; there was a statement from the government that as many as 2.16 crore fake, bogus or duplicate ration cards have been detected. Around Rs 13,000 crore, which would have otherwise been diverted, would now go to the beneficiaries. Minister of State for Consumer Affairs CR Chaudhary openly told in Lok Sabha that in 34 states and union territories, about 60 per cent of the ration cards have been linked with Aadhaar. The government has completed digitisation of ration cards.
BJP government’s initiative to weed out bogus workers under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has led to the identification of 52 lakh fake job cards which have since been weeded out. The drive was the part of the efforts to streamline the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and ensure that no fake identities were paid, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. He, however, denied that linking of Aadhaar cards to the MGNREGA has been made compulsory to help with this. Out of the 11 crore workers under the job guarantee scheme, 8 crore have already got Aadhaar cards and 4.5 crore of these Aadhaar cards have already been linked to bank accounts. As of now, 95 per cent of payments go to bank accounts and only about 5 per cent are given in cash. Civil society activists have alleged that the government was making Aadhaar compulsory to get work under MGNREGA and this was reducing the number of workers who can avail work under this scheme. But the government was committed to provide employment under the rural employment guarantee scheme and has already sent Rs 23,000 crore to the states for labour payment this year. Nearly 92 per cent of assets created under the MGNREGA has been put on geo-tracking and progress of work was being monitored centrally.
Four million fake refugees (estimated), 3.29 crore residents of Assam had applied for inclusion after a massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify illegal migrants living in Assam, the Registrar General of India (RGI) found 40 lakh people ineligible to be included in the draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC). This set off strong political reactions with the opposition attacking BJP for trying to divide the people for political gains. But one needs to understand these are the same people who are the vote bank of opposition. There could be several reasons why those people could not substantiate their claims on their voting rights; this is a subject matter of the Election Commission. But ironically, no punitive action was taken against them. Altogether, 3.29 crore residents of Assam had applied for inclusion in the NRC, which RGI had begun to update in 2010 to detect and deport migrants residing in the country illegally, especially from Bangladesh. The exercise to update the NRC was stopped for some time for various reasons and, later, revived in 2015 under the directive of the Supreme Court. RGI has now given one more opportunity to those who couldn’t make it to the NRC to prove their citizenship. Nevertheless, the fundamental rights and privileges they have been enjoying, as Indian citizens so far will remain unchanged till they live in India. Mumbai and Delhi are accounted for over a third of the 1.63 lakh companies de-registered by the government, as a part of the cleansing act undertaken on companies with suspicious and questionable operations. While the number of companies de-registered stood at 33,000 in Mumbai, it was 22,863 in the case of Delhi.
In the case of Hyderabad the number of companies de-registered stood at 20,588 and for Chennai, the number was 12,133. All these four cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad — together accounted for little over 50 per cent of the 1.63 lakh companies de-registered by the Registrar of Companies. Also, 11,286 companies from Bengaluru and 10,083 companies from Pune were de-registered. The 1.63 lakh companies have been largely identified on the basis of data mined from the demonetised notes deposited with banks post- November 8 last year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi cancelled the validity of certain high value denominated notes. BJP’s HRD Ministry has identified around 80,000 “ghost” teachers in various colleges and universities across the country after the introduction of Aadhaar.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, however, clarified that none of these teachers are from any Central universities. There are certain ‘ghost’ teachers, which use proxy methods and are apparently teaching at multiple places full time. After the introduction of Aadhaar, 80,000 such teachers have been identified and BJP government will consider action against them. The HRD Ministry has asked all universities to seek Aadhaar numbers from all employees and students to ensure there is no duplication; concerns have been raised about the leakage of data. There are many such things that got exposed during the BJP rule; those were a liability on country’s economy. All these exposes should be taken as BJP’s achievement.
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