The essence of democracy requires that we hold governments to account vis-a-vis their claims and promises. But one of the biggest casualties of the recent years has been the idea of accountability. The divisive and jingoist hyperboles in the media facilitate a collective amnesia. These report cards are a part of a series called ‘Balance Sheet of a Decade,’ by the Financial Accountability Network India, that attempts to glance through and highlight a few of the claims and reality of the government’s performance across various sectors from a financial and economic lens.
Here are the report cards on its claims:
NPAs + Write Offs + Willful Defaulters | Report Card 2014-24.
One may think how does the rising NPAs owing to bad loans to the ultra-rich affect the common people? Well, it does because it affects the availability of credit for the poor and also higher interest rates.
The public sector banks are made to bear the brunt of NPAs. The severity of the NPA problem was largely borne by the public sector banks. While the NPA ratio for the public sector banks remained lower than the private banks during the end of the 2000s, the former registered a phenomenal rise during the 2010s and ended up registering the NPA ratio at a level which is 6% higher than that of the private banks. So the brunt of the corporate and willful defaulters is borne by the public. The mantra being privatization of profits and nationalization of losses.
Read and Download the Report Card here: NPAs + Write Offs + Wilfull Defaulters: Report Card 2014-24
Inflation | Report Card 2014 -24
Impoverished sections who don’t have enough resources to consume even a single meal a day are hardest hit by the persistent food inflation leading to malnutrition and the country’s poor standing in the World Hunger Index. India’s rank in the Index slipped from 107 in 2022 to 111 in 2023 with a score of 28.7 which is under the serious category as per the World Hunger Index report. The percentage of the total population in India who are undernourished has increased from 14 % in 2015 to 16.6 % in 2023.
Read and Download the Report Card here: Inflation Report Card
Farmer’s Report Card 2014-24
The historic farmers’ agitation against the farm Bills pushed by the Modi government was a desperate fight back against what was being touted as Indian farming’s “1991 moment”. The Bills would have made farmers directly negotiate with private corporations instead of the mediation of a state-regulated marketplace. It took about 750 deaths and a year-long militant agitation for the government to finally retreat.
The Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare had 20 schemes under it, but now only three are running. The Animal Husbandry Ministry has scrapped important schemes like Dairying through Cooperatives and National Dairy Plan-II. Now, only three out of 20 schemes — Krishonnati Yojana, the Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperatives and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are being run by the Agriculture Ministry.
Read and download the report card here: Farmers’ Report Card 2014-24