Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

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The economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 gave birth to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. When India speaks of becoming self-reliant, it doesn’t advocate a self-centred system. In India’s self-reliance; there is a concern for the whole world’s happiness, cooperation and peace.

What is Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission?

Atmanirbhar means ‘self-reliant’. On May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his address to the nation an economic package of Rs 20 trillion to tide over the coronavirus crisis under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. He said the economic package would play an important role in making India ‘self-reliant’ and that it would benefit labourers, farmers, honest tax payers, MSMEs and the cottage industry. He said making the country self-reliant was the only way to make 21st century belong to India. According to the government, it is not protectionist in nature.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Highlights

India has demonstrated that it can cope up with any problematic situation and uncovers opportunities. The focal point of the Abhiyan is to make the country self-reliant. Let’s understand its highlights:

  • Rise in borrowing limits: With the relief package, state governments now have a rise in their borrowing limits. The increase is from 3% to 5% of the gross state domestic product for the annual year 2020-21. In this way, states have extra resources to spend on health care, employment, and infrastructure. 
  • One Nation One Ration card: This universalization of ration card will enable migrant workers and their families to access public distribution benefits from any Fair Price Shop in the country. They can get the food grains at subsidized rates. 
  • Privatization of Public Sector Enterprise (PSEs): Under this new PSE policy, the government may likely privatize its public sector enterprises. The purpose of such an initiative is to improve the efficiency and profitability of PSEs. 
  • Collateral Free Business loan: All businesses such as MSMEs, agriculture, and allied sectors can get collateral-free automatic loans. It gives a financial cushion to several businesses and encourages entrepreneurs to produce maximum goods and services within the country.

A self-reliant India with 5 pillars

Five Tranches Atmanirbhar Bharat

  1. Business including MSMEs 
  2. Poor, including farmers 
  3. Agriculture 
  4. New Horizons of Growth
  5. Government Reforms and Enablers

Benefits of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

In order to regain the strength of the economy in the global market with self-reliance, the Indian government launched the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. Below are its benefits:

  • Liquidity infusion and direct cash transfers into the accounts of laborers and daily-wage earners are helpful for their survival during the lockdown
  • Long-term modifications in critical sectors keep them globally competitive and attractive
  • Substantial growth in the e-Commerce industry 
  • Boost in the supply chain logistics industry
  • Lots of employment opportunities soon in the country
  • Reduction in scarcity for medical supplies and food grains

Controversy around Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission

The government has said ‘self-reliant India does not mean cutting off from rest of the world.’ However, some have called Atmanirbhar Bharat as a re-packaged version of the Make in India drive using new taglines such as ‘Vocal for Local’. Some Opposition members have spoken about how India had enacted policies and built companies since its creation to make India self-reliant – SAIL for steel production, IITs for domestic engineers, AIIMS for medical sciences, DRDO for defence research, HAL for aviation, ISRO for space, CCL NTPC and GAIL in the area of energy, for example. These politicians have criticised the so-called advertising tactics in the re-packaged scheme. Some have also panned the scheme re-phrased as “Fend For Yourself” Campaign.