Within a few months of coming to power, Narendra Modi-led NDA Government launched its ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, to encourage the world to use the country as a global production hub. With just two months left for the government to complete two years in power, all is not hunky-dory on this front. Several reasons have contributed to the slow progress in the programme. Entrepreneurs feel that the promised reforms, especially on tax front, are not taking place. Though officially ‘inspector raj’ has been done away with, entrepreneurs face exorbitant delay in getting required sanctions to start any enterprise here. This has adversely affected the ‘ease of doing business’ in the country. According to the latest World Bank report, India ranks 130 in ease of doing business. It is doubtful whether the Modi government’s target of achieving a place in the first 50 ranks is going to happen any time soon.
Success of any programme depends on conducive atmosphere to implement it. This is where India lags behind other nations. No entrepreneur will risk huge investment if one is not assured of minimum safety and security for one’s assets. The recent agitation in Haryana seeking reservation for Jats should be an eye-opener. The marauding agitators left a trail of destruction costing thousands of crores of rupees. The State administration was almost left clueless. The agitators had a free-for-all situation as the law enforcing agencies were left high and dry. Investors will stay away if their properties cannot be secured. Anyone who wants to do business looks for security first and profits come second. This sentiment of concern and anxiety was expressed by many industrialists and top honchos of national and international firms in the wake of various incidents in India.
Another issue agitating the minds of investors is the increasing incidents of intolerance in the country. This was indirectly brought up by none else but Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of Reserve Bank of India. At the IIT Delhi convocation he had said that the idea of anyone imposing a particular view or ideology because of their power shouldn’t be the way. In yet another matter-of-fact observation he said that if his view on beef controversy is made public, he might lose his job. He indirectly pointed out that if the idea of intolerance was allowed to thrive, it would stifle economic progress. There have been many experts and intellectuals across the world who commented that controversies like JNU issue show that freedom of speech is in peril which is a bad omen for a country that wants to become a super power.
No investor will like to go to a country where ‘moral police’ replaces law enforcing agencies. Rule of law is what gives them protection, the absence of which will bring doom to even flourishing business houses. If slogans alone can take a country ahead, India will take the cake. But, the reality is that unless a country walks the talk, it will fail to take off.
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