Fact Check: How Accurate Was PM Modi’s Independence Day Speech?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address to the nation on Wednesday, 15 August, spoke about various government schemes/initiatives which have helped in the socio-economic growth of the country since the NDA assumed power in 2014. But does the data support these claims made by the prime minister?
The various schemes that he spoke of were:
- Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY), a scheme that was launched by the government on 8 April 2015 to providing loans upto Rs 10 lakh to small-scale enterprises.
- The government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission, which aims to accelerate the efforts of sanitation coverage in the country.
Modi also mentioned the success of his government in electrifying Indian villages, and the ease of doing business, among other things.
But how true are these claims?
PM MODI’S CLAIM 1: 4 CRORE PEOPLE GIVEN LOANS UNDER MUDRA
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, Modi said, “13 crore loans under MUDRA is a big achievement. Out of this, 4 crore are the people who have taken a loan for the first time.”
In the answers given by the Finance Ministry in the Lok Sabha, it was stated that “Over 13.47 crore loans amounting to more than Rs 6.37 lakh crore have been sanctioned under PMMY as on 3 August.”
Further it was clarified in the Rajya Sabha that “Under PMMY, the number of accounts/ number of loans sanctioned during 2015-16 to 2017-18 were 12.27 crore, out of which 3.49 crore were new entrepreneurs.”
But on the index of job creation, according to an RTI filed by India Today, MUDRA Yojana hasn’t been successful as 90 percent of the loans given under this scheme are in the ‘Shishu’ category that provides loans upto Rs 50,000 which, according to economists, is not enough to create substantial employment.
Although Prime Minister Modi didn’t directly address the issue of job creation through MUDRA, the government has been bolstering the claim of creating jobs through this scheme.
Small loans given to less than 4 crore new beneficiaries. Do we know anything about the end use of those loans? Do we know whether those loans were used for self sustenance, retiring other debt, or for more productive purposes? Unless we have definitive answers to all these questions, we can’t establish clear correlation between loans given and job creation.
PM MODI’S CLAIM 2: 3,00,00 CHILDREN SAVED BECAUSE OF SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN
Prime Minister Modi also claimed that according to World Health organisation (WHO), 3,00,000 children have been saved due to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
The reality is that WHO did laud India’s commitment towards cleanliness, but the organisation said, “WHO lauds India’s commitment to accelerated coverage of safe sanitation services which, assuming 100% coverage is achieved by October 2019, could avert up to 3,00,000 deaths due to diarrheal disease and protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) since the country launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014.”
It is also important to note that the WHO said that if the sanitation services are used (improved) in India then “it could result in over 14 million more years of healthy life in the period measured with the benefits accruing yearly thereafter.”
The claim can’t be termed as true as the report reads that it will save 3,00,000 people if the rate of implementation is 100 percent by October 2019.
PM MODI’S CLAIM 3: ELECTRIFICATION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned it his speech that if his government continued to work at UPA’s pace then it would have taken them decades to achieve 100 percent electrification.
However, according to Fact Check India, UPA had electrified an average of 12,000 villages every year. And on the other hand the NDA electrified 4,600 villages.
Further, according to government’s own data, out of the 18,000 villages claimed to have been electrified by the government, only 8% of these villages have their households electrified.
The claim can’t be called true because despite villages having an electricity connection, access to electricity remains a problem.