Modi from the USA broadsheet perspective....one year after.
American media critical of Narendra Modi's first year in power
By Times of India
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi- led government marks its first year in office on Tuesday, American media
has taken a critical view of his accomplishments, saying his flagship
'Make in India' drive is "so far mostly hype", job growth remains
sluggish amid "outsize expectations". "India's Modi at One
Year: 'Euphoria Phase' Is Over, Challenges Loom," reads a headline in
the Wall Street Journal of an article on Modi's first year as Prime
Minister. READ: Full text of PM's letter to the nation
A year after Indian voters handed Narendra Modi a once-in-a-generation mandate for change and economic revival, messy realities are sinking in," the WSJ report said. It said that Modi's 'Make in India' drive, aimed at supercharging manufacturing growth, " is so far mostly hype". It cited economic parameters like exports to say that the "economy is merely limping along".
Inflation-adjusted lending for capital investment last year fell to a
level not seen since 2004, it said adding that exports were down for the
fifth straight month in April, corporate earnings were dismal and
foreign institutional investors have pulled around USD 2 billion out of
Indian stocks and bonds in May so far. READ ALSO
. "From abroad, India is now seen as a bright spot, expected to pass
China this year to become the world's fastest-growing large economy. But
at home, job growth remains sluggish. Businesses are in wait-and-see
mode. And Modi has political vulnerabilities, as parliamentary
opposition leaders block two of his central reform initiatives and brand
him 'anti-poor' and 'anti-farmer'," the NYT article titled 'After a
Year of Outsize Expectations, Modi Adjusts His Political Course for
. It said "most formidable of all is a problem" Modi
has "made for himself: outsize expectations that he would sweep away
constraints to growth in India, like stringent laws governing labour and
. The NYT quoted senior vice president at
leading Indian garment exporter Orient Craft's Vimarsh Razdan as saying
that the Modi government's "image became larger than they themselves.
.Complete coverage: One year of Modi sarkar "They have become superheroes. And everyone knows superheroes don't exist," he said in the report.
The WSJ article said that while Modi has swaggered across stages from
New York to Paris to Sydney, helping put the country back on investors'
maps, "on other key fronts, Modi has moved less decisively, frustrating
investors who hoped for bolder change after last year's election." His government has avoided privatising state-run banks and companies, which could trigger unpopular job cuts.
Despite vows to improve India's reputation for unpredictable tax
collection, the government has hit investors with demands for back taxes
they say they should not have to pay, it said. The leading US
dailies did give credit where due to the Modi government, saying as he
marks the anniversary of his swearing in, he can point to some
accomplishments. The WSJ report said Modi has allowed more foreign investment in railways and defence and helped cut red tape.
His government has also deregulated fuel prices and permitted private
competition in coal mining--"market-friendly moves designed to attract
investment." His administration has also helped open millions of bank accounts for the poor and created new pension and insurance programs.
It quoted Krish Iyer, president and chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores
Inc in India, as saying that the company is "seeing a lot of progress in
ease of doing business. We feel encouraged by the market- and
consumer-driven policies of the government." The NYT analysis said chief executives feel that since Modi came to power, India's business culture has "indeed changed".
"They rejoice that they no longer have to notarize all documents
submitted to the government and say that it is far easier to find
bureaucrats at their desks during the workday," it said. "By
most measures, India's economy has had a good year," the NYT report said
adding that India is heavily reliant on imported oil, and plunging
prices have cut the cost of government fuel subsidies, allowing the
authorities to rein in a chronic budget deficit. Inflation fell
to 4.87 per cent in April and foreign direct investment has risen by
more than 25 per cent, to USD 28.8 billion in the 2014-15 fiscal year.
It noted other "flurry of changes" that the Modi government introduced
including deregulating prices for diesel, petroleum and cooking gas, and
raising limits on foreign investment in the defense and insurance
sectors to 49 per cent. Coalfield leases, found to have been
sold at artificially low prices, were reallocated through a transparent
process as were telecom spectrum allocations, it said.