Skip to main content

Modi has "revived" infamous 'raid raj' of India’s socialist heyday, "stalled" privatization, economic reforms

Sadanand Dhume
By Our Representative
A senior expert with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., has sharply criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “muddled thinking on economics”, which he says has “undercut a sensible foreign policy.”
Sadanand Dhume , resident fellow with AEI, has said in his column in the top American business daily “Wall Street Journal” (WSJ) that when Modi came to power two-and-a-half years ago “much of the world expected a vigorous economic reformer who would struggle with the unfamiliar subject of foreign policy. ”
Especially taking strong exception to the way Modi's on economic policy, which “appears to be at war” with former NDA Prime Minister AB Vajpayee’s legacy, Dhume says, “Instead of recognizing his BJP predecessor’s central insight – that India had remained poor because the government choked economic activity – Modi has doubled down on bureaucracy in an impractical attempt to deliver economic development by fiat. ”
“Major privatization remains stalled. Nobody even talks about getting rid of state-owned white elephants such as Air India or the chronically inefficient telecom firm BSNL. Nor does the prime minister appear overly concerned about quashing the most productive segments of the economy”, complains the conservative think tank expert.
He warns, “The revival of the infamous 'raid raj' of India’s socialist heyday could keep investment depressed and employment flat while enriching sticky-fingered tax inspectors on a perennial hunt for black money.”
According to Dhume, “Though Modi’s government counts some of India’s finest economists, including such consistent advocates of sensible pro-growth ideas as Arvind Panagariya and Bibek Debroy, their fingerprints are barely visible on policy. When making decisions, the prime minister appears to trust stolid bureaucrats more than Western-educated economists. ”
While giving credit to Modi for “his surprisingly deft handling of complex strategic issues” in the initial years in power, the expert regrets, “But on economic policy he has damaged his international reputation by following a quixotic path detached from both history and the broad national consensus among experts on reforms. ”
The WSJ opinion coincides with Modi claiming to “India Today” that the banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes has forced all "black money out into the open", though admitting, “Our best economists remain confused in their calculations” on demonetization.
Dhume believes, Modi's “lack of concrete economic achievement will almost certainly undercut the prime minister’s goal of making India a more assertive player on the world stage”, admitting, “It will also likely stall Modi’s ambitious bid to transform his image from provincial strongman to global statesman on the path to modernizing Asia’s third largest economy.”
Calling Modi's September “surgical strike” on “alleged terrorist havens in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir” a “bold departure from a failed policy of fighting jihadism”, Dhume, however, says, this sharply contrasts with the “clumsy” decision six weeks later “to abruptly scrap 86% of India’s currency bills by value, in a country where more than 90% of transactions are in cash”, bringing “deep economic pain for uncertain gain. ”
Not without reason, the conservative think tank says, a Nomura index, which closely tracks Indian non-agricultural economic growth, “has dipped to its lowest level since 1996”, which is “in line with GDP growth this year of less than 6%, decidedly anemic for a country with India’s low level of per capita income.”

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”

Human rights 'abuses': Funding to India should be vetted, Greens tell Australian govt

Counterview Desk
A roundtable organised by Australian Greens, which is the third biggest political group in the country, held to discuss human rights situation in India at the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney has insisted that parliamentarians, human rights activists and lawyers should play a more active role “standing up for human rights not just in their own places but also in India.”

Degrading conditions amidst Covid-19: Toxic ship at Alang, Gujarat, 'endangers' migrants

Counterview Desk
Evironmental activist Dr Gopal Krishna, who edits the ToxicsWatch journal, in an open letter to the chairman, Ship Breaking Scrap Committee, Union Ministry of Shipping, with copies to the joint secretary, Union Ministry of Shipping and other Government of India ministries* has said that there exists “threat to Indian maritime environment and security from viral diseases like Covid-19 from ballast water and toxic substances.”