oppn parties PM at Davos: Much to Do Before Red Carpet

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
PM at Davos: Much to Do Before Red Carpet

By Ashwini Agarwal

By putting protectionism right up there with climate change and terror as the three biggest challenges before the world, Prime Minister Modi chose to hit the Western world where it hurts the most. For, the erstwhile champions of globalization, US and its satellite countries, are now putting up trade barriers. When it suited them, they cried hoarse about free movement of goods, services and ideas across national boundaries. They used the WTO to exert pressure on emerging economies to open up their markets. But faced with rising unemployment, Donald Trump now talks of “America First”.

It fits in Modi’s grand vision to have a bigger scale of globalization. Given India’s abundant resources and cheap labour (compared to China where rising aspirations have made labour wages uncompetitive), Modi has been pitching for Make in India. He knows that instead of Indians importing foreign goods for local consumption, it is better to have those goods made in India. It will bring in investments that will create lasting assets, it will generate employment opportunities and it will generate revenues in local taxes.

But there are many internal barriers and issues that, if not addressed properly and with great speed, will derail Modi’s grand vision. Despite tinkering with this or that law, India is still way behind in ease of doing business. The red carpet is nowhere to be seen. Instead there is still red tape all over. Then, the atmosphere of intolerance created by the Hindu right wing is something as bad as terrorism. The infrastructure boom announced three years ago has not taken off. It takes more than just cheap labour and a huge consumer base to attract investment. The sooner the prime minister realizes this the better.