Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at the half-way point of his 5 years tenure. In the last two years, Prime Minister Modi unleashed number of economic policies to help the most marginalized. Social welfare schemes like Affordable Housing to all by 2022, free LPG connections for the BPL families and bank accounts for all are some of the major policy decisions undertaken by the Prime Minister in recent past.
However, job creation is one such area where Prime Minister Modi finds himself in a tight spot despite his multiple initiatives like Start-up India, Stand-up India, Skill India and Make in India.
Despite fewer job creation in last few years, the Prime Minister was still able to garner unprecedented support from the masses in recently concluded Assembly elections. The BJP swept the UP election with 312 seats in a house of 403. It was historic as no other party had achieved such results since the emergency.
So, what are these people-centric policies that helped Prime Minister Narendra Modi clinch India's most crucial - political - state election and in all likelihood will also boost his chances in 2019 General Elections:
PM Ujjwala Yojana
Last year on May 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an ambitious social welfare scheme - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - with the aim of providing 5 crore LPG connections to women below the poverty line across the country.
However, the place BJP chose to launch the scheme was Ballia, a district in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. It seemed to be a strategic decision and Modi's master stroke to reach out to women in a state that was approaching the Assembly elections.
As on 20 December 2016, the government released more than 1.22 crore new LPG connections to BPL women under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme was aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG Gas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched another flagship housing scheme 'Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna' last year in November. The scheme was designed entirely for the rural masses. But, what is more interesting is that once again Prime Minister Modi chose Uttar Pradesh to launch the scheme.
The affordable housing scheme was launched in Agra. The ambitious scheme aimed to provide affordable houses to 4 crore people living below the poverty line by the year 2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi used his flagship programmes to get electorate support in assembly elections. Launching a scathing attack on Uttar Pradesh's chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Prime Minister said the state government was not willing to help the central government with a list of people who could benefit from the affordable housing scheme.
"1.5 crore people in UP don't have houses. Our government wanted the list of homeless people from the UP government but didn't get the list," the Prime Minister had said while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.
Under the new rural housing scheme, the central government provides a financial assistance of Rs 120000/- for constructing the home. It also gives an additional assistance of Rs 12000 to construct toilets in households. Modi government aims to replace all temporary houses from Indian villages by 2017.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
Prime Minister's another flagship programme was aimed to help small scale enterprises. In 2015, Modi government set up a Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) bank to fund micro finance institutions in the country. Mudra bank was set up to provide loans to small business sectors.
Through this programme, the government tries to fund fruits/vegetable sellers, hair cutting saloon, beauty parlours, transporters, truck operators, hawkers, co-operatives or body of individuals, food service units, repair shops, machine operators, small industries, artisans, food processors, self help groups, professionals and service providers etc.
Under the scheme, an entrepreneur can avail up to Rs 10 lakh. So far, the MUDRA Yojna has benefitted more than 58 million small business owners in the country.
Jan Dhan Accounts
Soon after taking over the highest chair in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India's biggest ever financial inclusion drive. Modi launched his first flagship programme called Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana which was country's National Mission for financial inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely savings accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, pension in an affordable manner.
Prime Minister's move was to provide access to formal banking services to more than 15 per cent of the unbanked population in the country.
It helped Prime Minister Modi re-establish his image as the leader of poor masses. Jan Dhan Yojna was not just about banking but also about several other benefits that the Prime Minister Modi offered with the accounts.
Under the scheme, if a person holds an account for more than six months s/he is allowed an overdraft of up to Rs 5,000. According to ET report in 2016, over 19 lakh account holders availed an overdraft amounting to Rs 256 crore. Jan Dhan accounts holders are also able to claim accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. The scheme also provides life cover of Rs. 30,000 payable on death of the beneficiary.
This was another way of reaching out to people who were never taken into India's formal banking system. Prime Minister Modi tapped country's over 15 per cent population with just one economic policy. So far, over 27.84 crore accounts have been opened under Jan Dhan Yojna.
Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
Gram Jyoti Yojana was launched with the aim of ensuring round the clock electricity supply to farmers and rural households. The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister on 25 July 2015. The scheme was expected to initiate much awaited reforms in the rural areas.
During his Independence Day speech in 2015, the Prime Minister had announced that all of the country's villages would be electrified in 1,000 days and that by December 2018, all Indian citizens would have access to electricity.
Electricity was a big issue in recently concluded elections in Uttar Pradesh. While addressing a rally in Varanasi, the Prime Minister asked the audience: "Yeh batayein ki Kashi mein 24 ghanten bijli milti hain ki nahin? (Tell me, is Kashi getting 24 hours electricity?)". The crowd responded: "No". Contrary to Akhlish Yadav's claim about 24 hours power supply.