Can Modi Honestly Run On His Economic Record?


(MENAFN- Asia Times) More than 960 million Indians will head to the polls
in the world's biggest election between April 19 and early June. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is led by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, is seeking a third term in office. And the polls
suggest it will achieve this objective.

If one was to go by economic growth figures alone, the Modi government
's performance has been impressive. When Modi came to power in 2014, economic growth was sluggish . A series of high-profile corruption
cases led to a loss of investor confidence in the Indian economy.

But between 2014 and 2022, India's gross domestic product ( GDP
) per capita (a measure of income per head) rose from US$5,000 to over $7,000 – an increase of roughly 40% in eight years. These calculations use purchasing power parity, a way of comparing general purchasing power over time and between countries.

This growth occurred in spite of an ill-advised attempt early on in Modi's first term to take ₹500 and ₹1000 notes out of circulation. Scrapping the notes led to an acute cash shortage, slowing the growth in per capita GDP
from 6.98% in 2016 to 5.56% in 2017.

According to the International Monetary Fund, India's economy is projected to grow at a rate of 6.5% in 2024. That is higher than China's projected growth of 4.6%, and exceeds that of any other large economy. The UK's economy, for example, is expected to grow by 0.6% in 2024.

However, recent estimates also suggest that inequality in India is at an all-time high . Growth, when it has occurred, has seemingly been unequal. A key challenge facing the Modi government
in its next term will be to convert higher growth into productive jobs while also curbing the excess wealth of India's economic and political elites.

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Asia Times

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