March 15, 2017, Editorial in Times of Inia.
(Note: Now that Modi is in the apex of power in Uttar Pradesh, it is time to use his Vajrayuth “Subka Vikas” in the most backward state. He should make it a showpiece of achievement, free from all divisive politics, concentrating on two classes of people only: poor and middle class. His goal should be job opportunities for these two sections by 2022, 75th year of India's Independence.
The question is: Can he achieve it, keeping himself at a safe distance from the stranglehold of RSS, Sangh Parivar and Hindutva? Simultaneously he will catch two birds with one shot: make India incorrigible i.e. Congress-mukth, and cleanse UP from the exploitation of two power-hungry divisive parties: Samajwadi Party of Mulayam family and Bahujan Samaj Party of the dalit luxury queen Mayawati. james kottoor, editor).
As the third year of the NDA government’s term draws to a close, it is in a unique position. The political stock of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has soared higher than ever before. Moreover, following BJP’s historic mandate in UP, Modi in his victory speech pointed out that poor Indians wanted opportunities rather than doles. Modi has also promised a ‘new India’ by 2022, the 75th year of independence.
Given that the NDA government has established a secure basis for itself now, it is time to act confidently and tune India’s economic engine, so that it can take advantage of the demographic transition it is currently undergoing. It should abandon incrementalism and move faster on the path of economic reform.
India is a country of young people and around a million of them enter the job market every month. Unless enough jobs can be found for them, the ‘new’ India will end up looking very much like the old. In terms of employment potential, organised retail offers enormous opportunities. Instead of opening up FDI in retail in a piecemeal manner, the best way ahead is to repeal all restrictions on investment. At one stroke, it will end lobbying and the search for loopholes in the law. This will bring in capital, technology and job opportunities.
India’s economy is overregulated. Instead of safeguarding consumer interests, the focus of regulation is on creating unnecessary obstacles to business.
Dismantling this perverse structure requires government to take on powerful vested interests. In this context, recent elections assume salience as Modi has the political capital now to bring about structural changes in India’s regulatory architecture. India’s factor markets – land, labour and capital – need to be freed for durable economic growth. This should be Modi’s priority now.