India’s Modi Notches Two Impressive Victories. Are These Enough for Reform?

After the recent victories of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in state elections and in the uphill battle to amend the constitution for the approval of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform project has regained steam.  

In this report, we review the economic policy strategy Modi unveiled before sweeping to power in 2014 and evaluate his achievements so far.

The government has taken some steps in attracting FDI, simplifying the tax regime and slimming the size of the informal economy. Nonetheless, there is seemingly no advancement in the ‘Made in India’ program, which aims to lift the share of manufacturing to 25% of GDP by 2022  

Progress on Pledges

Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made a list of promises in the election manifesto. Some of the key themes, as far as the economic program is concerned, are:

1) Made in India, which aims to lift the share of labor-intensive manufacturing in GDP

2) Further opening up of the country to attract overseas investment in major sectors

3) Broadening the tax base to fund other government expenditures

4) Stimulate public and private investments

5) Decrease the importance of informal economy

The table below shows the key points of Modi’s economic program made public in the 2014 election and the progress made thus far.

Promises, Promises

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