Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Home Opinions India's transformation under Modi and its implications

India’s transformation under Modi and its implications

The growth in the Indian economy has attracted a lot of attention. India has emerged as the fasted growing large economy, pipping China. It is expected to clock a GDP growth rate higher than 7.2% in 2018. Many international agencies that monitor key economies around the world have been sanguine in their projections on India.

A recent study published by UK based Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) states that India’s consistent GDP growth rate will push it to prominence in 2018. It has forecast that India will join the elite group of the top five largest economies of the world. This is a full year ahead of projections by International Monetary Fund (IMF) that India will make it to the top five in 2019.

India’s rise in global prominence has not come easy. In the last four years, Prime Minister Modi’s government has put in an unbelievable number of policy reforms and public investments in hundreds of projects that have borne fruit. This smorgasbord of reforms and investments have deeply impacted key sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, and services like never before. The gamut of initiatives – many of which have longer gestation periods – will continue to deliver results over an extended time horizon.

A dispassionate analysis throws up three key pillars that have provided the bulwark for the emergence of the economy. Firstly, Prime Minister Modi, shedding ideological baggage, has incorporated best practices in economic management that are pragmatic and more importantly, well suited for the country. This is indeed refreshing since for many decades India was hamstrung by ill-advised ideological paradigms that only resulted in poor growth rates and endemic poverty.

Secondly and more importantly, we are witness to an unparalleled excellence in executing these economic reforms and policies. Modi’s personal leadership qualities – acquired mostly as Chief Minister of Gujarat where he virtually passed through a ring of fire  – have played an important role. The recent inauguration (May 2018) of the smart Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) is but one example of this mastery over execution. Built at a cost of Rs.11,000 crore in Delhi, this 135 KM long solar power lit expressway was completed in 18 months.

Thirdly, and most notably, the government has ensured that, at least at the political level, there is no corruption, pilferage or fraud. These have been the core secrets of the swift economic transformation we see today. It is well known that India’s track record in delivering government services, particularly welfare benefits to the poor has been dismal. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is on record saying that for every rupee the government spent on welfare only 15% actually reached the beneficiary.

But Modi had stopped all that by directly transferring benefits to beneficiary’s bank account. According to data published by the government, welfare benefits of Rs.3,65,996 crores were directly transferred to beneficiaries’ accounts in the last four years (www.narendramodi.in). This is an example of Modi choosing the appropriate service delivery vehicle and executing it well in a given time fame.

Modi’s developmental paradigm and governance strategy are built around these three pillars. Hence his schemes and initiatives, just to name a few – GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), recapitalization of public sector banks, unprecedented investments in national highways and railways, 100% electrification, transfer of welfare benefits directly to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts –  are runaway successes.

What is even more striking is the fact that the government has used existing laws, existing civil and administrative machinery, existing staff and officers to execute its vast number of projects. The same machinery has in many cases achieved the project objectives ahead of schedule without cost overruns.

Like all previous governments, Modi too had the low-risk option of choosing reforms on a smaller scale that does not tend to rock the boat. But these changes would have yielded only incremental results or benefits that would have continued to keep India hostage to a pernicious low growth cycle, depriving huge sections of society a decent livelihood. But Modi apparently has taken a calculated risk and has instead, boldly opted to choose the transformation route, a high-risk option, to achieve big results in as diverse areas as possible. The gamble, as seen from the optimistic projections by international institutions, seems to have paid off.

Many compare Modi’s transformation exercise to the reforms of 1991 initiated by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Rao’s reforms were no doubt extremely critical for India then but were more in the nature of a rescue mission. They were focused on deregulation and attracting foreign direct investments to shore up dangerously low levels of forex reserves. They were incremental and definitely on a smaller scale in comparison.

As already pointed out, Modi’s reforms are transformational. Further his efforts must be seen as part of a master plan that includes securing India from internal and external threats as well as forging bilateral ties with various countries around the world to deepen India’s trade and commerce. The truth is that both Rao and Modi have succeeded in untethering the native economic sinews of the country.

Despite the din, distorted and mostly negative reporting in the media, Modi’s developmental agenda has the backing of large sections of society. For them, the economic resurgence passes the smell test, at least anecdotally. For instance, in high growth states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, there is a noticeable absence of beggars on the streets or on railway platforms. Long gone are the days when people could not afford footwear or wore torn clothes. The so-called ‘trickle down’ effect which was a just a dribble for several decades, now seems to be drenching vast sections of poor people. Of course, this is not to gainsay the fact that poverty continues to pervade vast sections of society in many states.

The economic survey for 2018 has highlighted the strengths of the economy. But it has also warned of potential risks and threats to the economy, both internal and external that need to be carefully watched. However, the good news is that key statistics and relevant data point to continued robust growth in the economy. Modi’s biggest achievement seems to be the setting up of right the ecosystem via a conducive policy environment, infrastructure building and massive public investments that have since unleashed the economy.

The silent changes that are sweeping across the country– mostly at the lowest levels of the economy – are creating a huge impact on the very fabric of India – economically, politically and socially. The enthusiasm and expectations of the people – particularly the under 35 demographic segment that forms over 60% of India – seem to be scaling up.

The clamour for corruption-free and swift delivery of government services – be it provision of electricity, sanitation, public health services or any service for that matter – is ratcheting up. While citizen experience is positive, this may not be a welcome change for the political ecosystem in India.

Modi’s iron will and mastery of execution are unmatched across the whole political spectrum in India today. He has given India a new mantra to the political class- perform or perish. He has set the bar for performance high enough that many in the current political scene may not be able to achieve. This probably explains the collective hatred seen for Modi among his political opponents and their proxies. But the impact of Modi’s transformations will continue to reverberate for years to come.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Naagesh Padmanaban
All things considered by this ordinary citizen of the world; Calls a spade a spade.

Related Articles

Trending now

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

Jinnah’s ideology: Prof Brij Narain, a strong supporter of Pakistan’s creation, was hacked to death by an Islamist mob in Lahore in 1947

Prof Brij Narain, an enthusiastic exponent of Pakistan, was hacked to death in broad daylight by a Muslim mob even as he kept pleading them to stop ransacking his house in Lahore in the wake of partition .

India-China standoff: Indian army captures PLA soldier, probing espionage angle

The army stated that the PLA personnel will be handed over to the Chinese officials at Chushul-Moldo meeting point, following the completion of formalities.

If Congress comes back to power, it will be impossible to utter a word against them

This time, they will have a third and most potent weapon: technology and dominance in the digital space.

‘Uddhav Thackeray has formed a special team to bring down Republic TV, Arnab has to be locked up’: Explosive sting reveals MVA govt plot

"The strategy is to lock him (Arnab Goswami) behind bars. Nobody can save his channel from being banned," the Congress leader said.

Recently Popular

After Chinese phones blocking weather data for Arunachal and Ladakh, now Twitter shows Leh as part of China

Security analyst Nitin A Gokhale found that Twitter has labelled Leh in Ladakh as part of People's Republic of China (PRC)

In 2012 ‘out of town’ Salman Khan partied with Parambir Singh in Mumbai on day Bandra cops could not serve him Court summons for...

As reported by Mid-Day in 2012, Salman Khan and Parambir Singh were both found attending a Christmas party hosted by Sunny Dewan and his wife Anu Dewan in Mumbai. This when the Bandra cops claimed Khan was not in town.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

Pro-congress journalists and trolls target Amitabh Bachchan’s son-in-law Nikhil Nanda when another Nikhil Nanda criticised Rahul Gandhi

Nikhil Nanda, the MD of JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Limited, had exposed Rahul Gandhi for criticising India's handling of COVID-19 crisis

Shashi Tharoor wears Mani Shankar Aiyar’s hat, denigrates India and praises Pakistan at Lahore Literature Festival, claims Modi govt targeting Muslims

Shashi Tharoor denigrated India and praised Pakistan during a discussion at the Lahore Literature Festival.

Odisha lawyer Mehendi Reza gives rape threats to Kangana Ranaut on Navratri post, claims Facebook ID was ‘hacked’

Actress Kangana Ranaut receives rape threat on her post wishing people for Navratri.
- Advertisement -

Days after an Islamist brutally beheaded a teacher, France Govt prepares to expel 231 religious extremists from the country

France is planning to come down hard on religious extremists after an Islamic youth beheaded a teacher recently

Congress, media target Varun Gandhi for unwillingness to speak to a stranger late at night: Here is who the man was and why he...

The Congress party has decided to go after BJP MP Varun Gandhi after a leaked version of his conversation found its way to the media.

India formally invites Australia to join the 2020 Malabar trilateral naval exercise, Australia confirms full participation: Read details

It will be the first time all members of the regional grouping known as the Quad will participate in the Malabar naval exercise

Rajasthan: Two minor girls gang-raped, police shift victims to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw instead of ambulance

Two minors gang-raped by six in Rajasthan. Police conducting raids at various locations in search of accused.

Dance moves by Dr Arup in Silchar, Assam wins Internet, inspires Hrithik Roshan

The Assam doctor's dance video has gone viral on social media, gaining thousands of likes and comments.

Family of girl murdered in terror attack condemns BBC for providing platform to terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, painting her as a victim: Read details

Ahlam Tamimi was convicted and sentenced for 16 years her role in a pizza parlour bombing in Jerusalem in 2001 before her imprisonment was cut short in a prisoner-exchange deal with Hamas

Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami to sue Param Bir Singh for Rs 200 crore after Maha Govt’s admission in Mumbai High court

Maha Govt and Mumbai police distances itself from the allegations meted out at Republic TV by PC Param Bir Singh

Frustrated with “rants” of Shashi Tharoor, MP Nishikant Dubey requests Lok Sabha speaker to put him in a committee where there is no Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor yesterday ranted against Republic TV and Times Now, issuing 'moral sermons' to the corporates who financed the aforementioned news channels

Rajdeep Sardesai and India Today secure a gag order against social media user who had said they took 8 crores for Rhea interview

Issuing an order on India Today petition, the Delhi HC has ordered Twitter to suspend the man named Anurag Srivastava, and Google to remove the content from search results.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
464,943FollowersFollow
18,700SubscribersSubscribe