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Editorial: Modi’s Economic Success

For the average Indian voter, its prime minister’s economic management takes precedence over his government’s religious intolerance

by Editorial

File photo. Tolga Akmen—AFP

Pakistan has made clear its displeasure at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the terrorism Delhi is fomenting under his watch, but this has not dented his standing in the rest of the world, which is more concerned with his economic success. For the average Indian voter, Modi’s tenure has seen their country grow as a global power, with its economy growing by 7.6% over 12 months till the third quarter of 2023 alone. Most economists expect annual growth to sustain at 6 percent or higher for the rest of this decade. Similarly, India’s GDP-per-person, after adjusting for purchasing power, has grown at 4.3% on average annually in his decade of power. This has sustained Modi’s popularity despite growing incidents of religious intolerance like the inauguration of the Ram Mandir on the site of the demolished Babri Mosque.

Understandably, this success has drawn global attention, with Modi increasing ease of doing business in India and boosting manufacturing despite the hastily enacted demonetization policy of 2016. The Indian premier has also increased his country’s industrialization through various measures, including a 2020 subsidy scheme worth $26 billion for products made in India. A year later, the government pledged $10 billion for semiconductor companies to build plants domestically. In 2023, announcements of new investment projects by private corporations has soared past $200 billion, the highest in a decade, and roughly double the value for 2019, in real terms.

According to The Economist, private investment “has been sluggish during P.M. Modi’s time in office but a boom may be coming since the lending banks argue that the private-investment cycle is likely to turn, thanks to healthy bank and corporate balance-sheets.” Additionally, observers believe “intentions to invest in India remain strong,” as a means to reduce exposure to China. This indicates that Modi’s reforms will lead to increased growth, with the world willing to turn a blind eye to the plight of India’s non-Hindu minorities so long as it has a “great economic manager” at the country’s helm.

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