Prime Minister Modi has fared much better in his efforts to attract foreign investment to India. He moved swiftly to raise FDI caps across a host of different sectors, including defense, telecommunications, infrastructure, pensions and insurance. These caps were raised at varying levels, ranging from complete liberalization in some areas to only modest increases in others. The new prime minister expects the influx of billions of dollars of foreign capital to be a key driver of economic growth and a creator of new jobs.
The new premier’s government has also deregulated prices for diesel fuel, auctioned off coal and telecommunications licenses in an open and transparent way and opened up more than 125 million bank accounts for the country’s poorest citizens. Notably absent from the Modi government’s first year in office has been the kind of multi-billion dollar corruption scandal responsible for bringing down the previous government last year.
Overall, there is much to laud about Prime Minister Modi’s efforts so far. The Indian economy is in better shape than it was just twelve months ago. But much work remains to be done. The pace of reform has been slow and both Indians at home and investors abroad are hoping the new premier moves more quickly to take those steps necessary to unleash the full potential of the Indian economy.
Foreign Policy: A
Although Prime Minister Modi’s economic message was the key to his victory at the polls, his foreign policy record earns him his highest marks. Many wondered whether foreign policy would even be a priority for the new premier given his almost exclusive focus on the economy during the campaign.
He quickly dispelled any doubts. In one short year, Prime Minister Modi has spent 52 days abroad visiting a staggering 18 countries, including the United States, China, Brazil, France, Fiji, South Korea and even Mongolia. He has been received enthusiastically in virtually every country he has visited as prime minister....