Modi 3.0: 100 Days Agenda of various Union Ministries

Modi 3.0: 100 Days Agenda of various Union Ministries

Modi 3.0: 100 Days Agenda of Various Union Ministries


1. Ministry of Defence

  • The Ministry plans to establish a new export promotion body aimed at enhancing India's defence exports, with the framework largely finalized in the Modi 3.0 government.
  • A fund is being considered to assist friendly foreign nations in purchasing Indian defence equipment, aligning with initiatives like Make in India for substantial defence contracts.
  • Key acquisitions are anticipated, including more K9 Vajra artillery guns and fighter jet engines to bolster India's defence capabilities.
  • Negotiations are advancing for the procurement of Rafale M fighter jets for the Indian Navy, emphasizing modernization efforts.
  • The DRDO is set to undergo reforms, fostering collaborative projects with the private sector to boost indigenous defence production.
  • The Agnipath scheme, aimed at enhancing defence preparedness through strategic initiatives, will undergo a comprehensive review to optimize its effectiveness.

Columnist: Dalip Singh

Source: The Hindu Businessline

2.  Ministry of External Affairs

  • Prime Minister will participate in multiple global summits including G7, SCO, and BRICS this month, showcasing India's active diplomatic engagements.
  • India aims to accelerate the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union, reflecting its commitment to enhance economic ties with key global partners.
  • Recently finalized, India's trade pact with Oman, its longstanding strategic partner in the Gulf region, is set to be officially announced, marking a significant development in bilateral relations.
  • India remains steadfast in pursuing strategic autonomy in its foreign policy, emphasizing independence in decision-making and partnerships.
  • Additionally, Prime Minister Participation in upcoming summits such as BIMSTEC, G20, and Asean-East Asia underscores India's role in regional and global forums.
  • These diplomatic endeavors underscore India's proactive approach in global affairs, focusing on economic cooperation, strategic partnerships, and asserting its presence in international forums.

Columnist: Nitya Thirumalai


3. Ministry of Power

  • Formation of a Power Sector Council: A new council, led by the Union power minister and including Union and state power ministers, will be established to streamline power sector governance. This body will have a standing committee for detailed oversight, comprising finance and energy secretaries from both Union and state levels.
  • Separation of Power Businesses: The ministry suggests splitting the electricity transmission and distribution businesses to enhance efficiency and accountability within the sector.
  • Development of Renewable Energy Infrastructure: Proposals include setting up renewable energy management centres (REMCs) nationwide to bolster renewable energy integration and management.
  • Lending and Project Approvals: A recommendation to limit Power Finance Corp. and REC Ltd’s lending to state electricity distribution companies to capital expenditure only, alongside seeking cabinet approval for pre-construction of the Dibang hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Promotion of Electric Vehicles: The ministry plans to establish public charging stations to support the adoption of electric vehicles, enhancing sustainable transportation infrastructure.
  • Hydroelectric Projects and Diplomacy: Accelerating hydroelectric projects like Dibang is seen as a strategic move to secure water usage rights amidst the ongoing India-China dispute over the Brahmaputra river diversion.

Columnist: Rishi Rajan Kala

Source: The Hindu Businessline

4. Ministry of Home Affairs 

  • Review of VIP Security: The Ministry is set to reassess the security arrangements for VIPs, considering intelligence and police inputs to decide on scaling down, upgrading, or withdrawing protection based on current threats.
  • Reallocation of Forces: The National Security Guards (NSG) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are being considered for reallocation from VIP security to focus on their primary tasks, with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) taking on most VIP security duties.
  • Legislative Reforms: Under the Ministry's leadership, significant legal reforms were introduced with the enactment of new criminal procedure codes—Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, and Bharatiya Sakshya Actto replace the outdated British-era laws. The MHA will oversee the implementation of these laws starting July 1.
  • Election and Statehood in Jammu & Kashmir: The Ministry is tasked with ensuring local body and J&K Assembly elections are held by the Supreme Court's September deadline, potentially leading to the granting of statehood to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Peace in Manipur: A high priority is being placed on restoring peace in Manipur, and emphasized the urgency of resolving the conflict to restore stability.
  • Citizen Amendment Act: The Ministry played a crucial role in passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, aimed at granting citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
  • Counter-Naxal Operations: The Ministry is focused on eradicating Naxalism, setting a two-year target for agencies to eliminate the Naxal threat from the red corridor.
  • Challenges and Priorities: The Ministry's agenda includes tackling terrorism, ensuring law and order, and fostering communal harmony, with specific directives to engage the opposition constructively for broader public welfare.

Columnist: Our Bureau

Source: The Hindu Businessline

5. Ministry Of Electronics’ and Information Technology (MeitY)

  • Tech-Driven Agenda: The Modi 3.0 administration is committed to enhancing India’s role as a global tech and digital hub, focusing on semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, as emphasized by Union Minister for Electronics and IT (MeitY), Railways, and Information and Broadcasting.
  • Empowerment through Technology: Ministry aims to empower the common man via initiatives like Jan Dhan and Aadhaar, building on previous efforts to transform data privacy, cyber security, and AI technologies.
  • Regulatory Frameworks: MeitY’s priority includes creating guidelines for data protection and privacy, with the Digital Private Data Protection Act's implementation requiring detailed industry guidelines, and the establishment of a data protection board to handle grievances.
  • AI Regulation: The Ministry is intensifying efforts to regulate AI, with an advisory stressing the need for explicit permission before deploying untested AI models, reflecting a proactive stance towards AI governance.
  • Semiconductor Self-Reliance: MeitY will focus on boosting local value in electronics manufacturing to enhance self-reliance, supporting India’s push towards a robust semiconductor sector.
  • Railway Modernization: Ministry previously instrumental in introducing Vande Bharat trains, plans to expand these initiatives with sleeper and Metro versions, and is advancing India’s first bullet train project from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, targeted for 2026.
  • Collaborative Development: Discussions with Japanese firms for high-speed train technology and trials with Indian manufacturers are ongoing, reinforcing India’s commitment to modernizing its railway infrastructure.

Columnist: Abhishek Law

Source: The Hindu Businessline

6. Ministry of Commerce and Industry

  • Prioritizing FTAs: Ministry will focus on finalizing several free trade agreements (FTAs). This includes the India-Oman FTA, delayed by the election model code of conduct, and ongoing negotiations with the UK, EU, and Australia.
  • Export Target for 2030: The ministry aims to help exporters reach a $2-trillion target for goods and services exports by 2030, navigating new environmental restrictions from Western countries, especially the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Deforestation Regulation.
  • SEZ and E-commerce Policies: Immediate tasks include passing the long-pending SEZ Amendment Bill to provide more flexibility for units and notifying a balanced e-commerce policy. Developing e-commerce hubs and launching initiatives like the "Trade Connect e-Platform" to support exporters are also critical.
  • FDI Policy Review: Reviewing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in sectors such as banking, insurance, and defense is on the agenda to enhance investment opportunities.
  • 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047: The ministry of Modi 3.0 is committed to transforming India into a developed nation by 2047.
  • Export Boost Strategies: The ministry will need to implement strategies to boost exports to achieve the ambitious $1 trillion goods export target by 2030, addressing issues like global demand slowdown due to conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia.
  • Exporter Demands: Exporters have submitted a charter of demands including easier and cheaper credit, increased allocation for the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme, higher rates under the RODTEP scheme, substantial allocation under the District as Export Hub scheme, and the removal of inverted duties.
  • Addressing Green Laws: Two critical EU environmental regulations, the Deforestation Regulation and the CBAM, require attention as they will impact various Indian exports. The potential imposition of a carbon tax by the US also needs to be considered to mitigate adverse effects on Indian exports.

Columnist: Amiti Sen

Source: The Hindu Businessline


7. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

  • Introduction of GST on Fuels: The Ministry is making efforts to impose the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
  • Recommendation Process: To implement GST on these fuels, the Ministry must first recommend this change to the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry will then present this proposal to the GST Council for consideration.
  • GST Council's Decision: Under the current legislation, crude oil, petrol, diesel, ATF, and natural gas are included in the GST framework. However, the GST Council is responsible for recommending the date from which GST will be levied on these products, as mandated by Section 12(5) of the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act.
  • Current Tax Structure: Presently, the Centre imposes excise duty on auto fuels, while States levy value-added tax (VAT) and sales tax. Transitioning to GST has been widely advocated, as it is expected to lower fuel prices, benefiting the public. Despite political support, the GST Council has not reached a consensus due to concerns over potential revenue losses for both States and the Centre.
  • Revenue Impact: In the provisional fiscal year 2024, the petroleum sector contributed approximately ₹51 lakh crore to the exchequer, with ₹4.32 lakh crore going to the Centre and ₹3.18 lakh crore to the States. In fiscal year 2023, the total contribution was around ₹7.48 lakh crore. The high current tax rates on petrol and diesel exceed 60%, which is above the GST maximum rate of 50%, including cess.
  • Revenue Neutrality Principle: The discrepancy between the high tax rates on fuels and the GST cap challenges the principle of a revenue-neutral rate (RNR). This is a key issue in the discussion of GST implementation on fuels.
  • OMC Disinvestment: The government has decided not to divest its stake in oil marketing companies (OMCs). This decision follows the cancellation of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) disinvestment in June 2022.
  • Crude Oil Supply Deals: Regarding long-term crude oil supply agreements with Russia, the Ministry is in discussions. There is confidence that both private and public sector companies will pursue economically viable long-term deals.

Columnist: Rishi Rajan Kala

Source: The Hindu Businessline

8. Ministry of Finance

  • Full Budget Presentation and Inflation Challenge: Ministry faces the immediate challenge of addressing retail food inflation while unveiling the comprehensive Budget for 2024-25. Ministry task is to present a vision for the next five years, incorporating policy announcements aimed at stimulating the economy and tackling unemployment through a boost to the manufacturing sector.
  • Fiscal Deficit Strategy: With advantageous conditions such as a substantial surplus transfer from the Reserve Bank of India and consistently high tax collections, ministry has two options for the fiscal deficit target: reducing it by at least 10 basis points from the proposed 5.1% in the Interim Budget, or maintaining the target and enhancing public expenditure to stimulate consumption.
  • Capital Expenditure Focus: Capital expenditure remains a priority, with ₹11 lakh crore allocated in the Interim Budget. Over the next four years, the focus is expected to shift towards increasing this allocation to sustain economic growth, in line with Modi 3.0's long-term vision.
  • Manufacturing Boost: Inspired by the government’s manifesto, the Budget is likely to introduce more funds under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme or other innovative schemes to bolster manufacturing. The emphasis is on sectors like electronics, defense, mobile, and automobiles under the 'Make in India' initiative to enhance employment and drive industrial success.
  • Global Manufacturing Hub Vision: The government’s aims to transform India into a global leader in automobile and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, and to establish it as a global hub for textiles and electronics manufacturing by 2030. This vision will be supported by strategic budgetary allocations and policy measures.
  • Addressing Food Inflation: A major concern is raising retail food inflation, particularly in vegetable and edible oil prices. Ministry is expected to introduce measures to increase horticulture production and improve cold storage facilities. Additionally, efforts to promote oilseed production will be intensified to achieve more substantial results.
  • GST Rate Rationalization: Rationalizing GST rates remains a complex task, as it could shift certain items to higher tax brackets, potentially impacting inflation. This rate adjustment aims to address the inverted duty structure, particularly in the textile sector, but faces political sensitivity and resistance from various states and opposition parties.
  • New Pension Scheme Reforms: Another critical issue is the reform of the new pension scheme. A committee led by Finance Secretary TV Somanathan is working on recommendations for the new pension scheme, with expectations for these recommendations to be publicly released soon.

Columnist: Shishir Sinha

Source: The Hindu Businessline


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