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

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
  • Sabarimala case referred to a larger bench as the court says several contentious issues need deeper examination
  • 16 killed as the vehicle they were traveling in plunged into a deep gorge near Jammu
  • Vodafone CEO seeks government relief, saying India operations on the verge of collapse
  • Three teenagers killed in a major accident in Kolkata's New Town area when their Honda City rammed into a road divider and a Metro pillar. The car was mangled
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad not to publicly 'celebrate' Babri Masjid demolition day this year, all events will be closed door
  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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.