No, the Ujjwala scheme has not transformed the lives of over 3 crore women in India’s villages

On November 30, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made many claims while addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

However, some of his claims were absolutely false.

“The Ujjwala (Light Up) scheme has transformed the lives, for once and all, of over 3 crore (30 million) women in India’s villages,” was one of his claims.

However, it’s a very unclear statement. Why? Because, according to government, as of November 2017, 30.56 million LPG connections were given to women from below poverty line households under the scheme. It crosses the number mentioned by Modi, but it does not have any break-up available of how many of these were rural connections.

The Prime Minister was seen making three other false claims. Let’s check them out:

False claim 1: Aadhaar has helped weed crores of fictitious beneficiaries

Well, evidence has shown that Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity, has not helped in weeding out fake beneficiaries.

False claim 2: Big and sustainable changes do not develop on their own, they require systemic overhaul. It is because of such an overhaul that the country moved from 142 to 100 on the Ease of Doing Business ranking

Also read: Modi Govt should refer to these sources for data on mob lynchings

While it cannot be denied that India did move up 42 places to 100 in 2018 as compared to 142 in 2015 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, the ranks are not comparable due to frequent changes in parameters of measuring rank.

False claim 3: In the last three years of the previous government, capital expenditure was about Rs 1.49 lakh crore. Under this government’s three years, capital expenditure was about Rs 2.64 lakh crore

This is again not true. Capital expenditure (only central expenditure)–that is, spending on assets such as roads or to reduce borrowings, as opposed to spending on administration such as salaries–under the Modi government’s three years was Rs 6.9 lakh crore as against Rs 5.15 lakh crore under the Manmohan Singh government’s last three years, according to budget data.

So, Prime Minister Modi should be careful before making false statements, after all it dents his credibility, which is almost on the verge of getting negative.

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