India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance card for his first year in office reflects range of responses. Given that he took over the reins of office at a time when there were many unresolved social and economic issues, Modi’s government seems to have fared reasonably well with an approval rating of 74%.
BBC reports: So far the government has been free of scams, and Modi is making his ministers and bureaucrats work hard. Plans to auction mineral rights – starting with this year’s coal auction – should check corruption and foster transparency. He has energized India’s foreign policy, openly courting countries like Japan, Australia, Israel and the U.S. He is mining the diaspora. Taking the lead in evacuating stranded people in conflict-zones like Yemen and rushing relief to earthquake-ravaged Nepal has earned his government rightful praise. “Two foreign policy priorities have emerged: South Asia and the management of a larger periphery with a focus on China,” says Harsh V. Pant of King’s College, London.
The Wall Street Journal: Billionaire Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, a large Indian business conglomerate, who wrote in Forbes India that the new government has shown that it is free-enterprise, growth and reform-oriented. Godrej added that the government has taken steps to set the economy on a path to more than 8% growth in the fiscal year that ends March, 2016.
More time from the American professors’ point of view : that’s what renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati and Pravin Krishna, a Chung Ju Yung distinguished professor of international economics and business at Johns Hopkins University, said Modi needs. In a column for the Economic Times newspaper, the pair concluded that to bring about sweeping economic reforms, Modi must negotiate years-old roadblocks created by institutions and lobbies. Not something that can be done in just 12 months, they said.
The Washington Post assembled a panel of experts from India and the United States who graded Modi’s performance in various issues. The five judges gave Prime Minister Modi high marks for foreign relations and national security, and said that India’s economy had stabilized with the help of low oil prices, but many key reforms, such as a goods and service tax and a controversial land bill, were stuck in Parliament.
USA Today: India’s $2 trillion economy will remain much smaller than China’s $10 trillion powerhouse for years to come. But, boosted by low oil prices — the country imports 80% of its oil — the world’s largest democracy and its young, skilled population have plenty of room to grow.” The publication quoted Vineet Mittal, vice chairman of Mumbai-based Welspun Renewables, a wind and solar energy company, as saying, “The five years before Prime Minister Modi took over were really bad… in 2014, we barely had any projects in hand even though renewable energy was an important area for the India government, now, we have more than we can handle, and expect our projects to double over the next 12 months. Projects are awarded faster, cleared faster and payments released on time.”