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

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
PM at Davos: Much to Do Before Red Carpet

By Ashwini Agarwal
First publised on 2018-01-25 19:20:04

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.