Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday following the prolonged illness. The 93-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party leader, a diabetic, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 11 following kidney tract and chest congestion. He was the first non-Congress prime minister who died after completing the full term of five years.
Vajpayee was a brilliant politician and orator but he will also be remembered for his economic policies. He is the one who laid the foundation for infrastructure development and telecom revolution in the country. Here are some of his economic policies for which the country will always hold him in high esteem.
The country will always rever him for the prestigious projects such as the Golden Quadrilateral, which connected Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. He laid the foundation for massive infrastructure projects for fuelling the growth of the country.
His another initiative Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna was successful in connecting far-flung villages across India. The infrastructure thrust gave a much-needed push to the economy.
Vajpayee is the one who formed a separate disinvestment ministry for the privatisation of non-strategic public sector enterprises. It was under his tenure that Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) and Hindustan Zinc, Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited and VSNL were disinvested. It was a bold decision taken by the Vajpayee government considering public sector units are considered as jewels of the economy and it was not easy to convince people about disinvestment of public sector units. The value unlocked helped in the further development of the company.
Another feather in his cap is the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility Act with an aim to control the fiscal deficit of the country.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
SSA was the flagship programme of Vajpayee government offering free and compulsory education to the children of 6-14 years age group.
SSA was implemented to cover the needs of 192 million children. The number of out-of-school children dropped by 60 per cent within four years of its launch in 2001.
The Vajpayee government is the one who replaced the fixed license fees with a revenue-sharing arrangement. He is the one who took the mobile connectivity to another level, which is currently supporting today’s BJP strategy of financial inclusion through JAM- Jandhan, Aadhaar, Mobile.