One of the major complaints with India over the years has been its red tape or rather the infamous tendency of bureaucrats and officials to keep a particular process in the loop till it loses relevance. Countries such as the US have also expressed their reservations about it. India has now signed a historical pact with Japan and Modi has promised the Japanese that India will make sure that it does not have to face bureaucratic delays in its various exchanges that are expected to be significant for India going ahead.
India promises Japan to do away with red tape
The Indian Prime Minister informed the Japanese business fraternity that they would be given a warm welcome whenever they wanted to do business in India and assured them that they would not need to deal with the red tape that has come to define India in certain international sectors. He asked them to come and invest in the manufacturing sector in India, which the experts feel is going to be an important driving force for the country in the days that lie ahead.
He stated that as India is looking to develop its policy regarding its eastern neighbours such as Japan, Japan should have a similar policy for India as well – this could be regarded as a praiseworthy move indeed considering such a proactive approach had been lacking before.
Migrant Pakistani Hindus want Indian citizenship
Since 2005, 200 Hindu families from Pakistan – comprising about 1000 people – have migrated to Rajkot in Gujarat, which lies fairly close to the border shared with Pakistan. Now they have been staging demonstrations with the single demand of being given Indian citizenship. Their main reason for this demand is that they do not want to go back to Pakistan.
Their leader, KH Kannar, has stated that they do not wish to go back to Pakistan since most of their relatives are staying in the region. The families have also submitted a referendum to the effect to the district officials. In Gujarat there is a ban on people from Pakistan from moving around in the state and this has made it extremely difficult for these people to visit their relatives in Gujarat. They have also urged that the ban be lifted.
It now remains to be seen how the Indian Government deals with this issue considering the fact that it has all the potential to be a double edged sword. If they are allowed to settle in India as citizens then it will be stated that the NDA is basically doing this to increase its voter base. If they are not allowed, then certain circles will say that it was inhuman to throw out people who had been seeking asylum from a repressive and brutal regime and does not befit India that wants to be recognized as a First World country under its Prime Minister. Either way the whole affair is sure to leave a bitter taste in NDA’s mouth once it is over and done with.
Positive aspects of Modi’s first 100 days of reign
Before he started off as the PM of India, Narendra Modi had made it very clear that he would be pursuing a policy of modernity with the aim of bringing the country up to international standards. He has indeed started off with the right note by partnering with Japan for learning the technology needed to operate bullet trains effectively. This move is praiseworthy considering the fact that Japan happens to be a pastmaster in this domain. The government has also provided tax relief to the service sector professionals. Considering this is the highest grossing sector of Indian economy it makes sense to provide them added incentive to save and also more leeway to invest through the various tax benefits.
Modi has also shown his acumen in dealing with regard to foreign policy. Its relations with Sri Lanka and Pakistan are not exactly the best and in both these countries China has a rather strong presence. In case of Pakistan the partnership is pretty prominent while in Sri Lanka China is preparing a strong ground by helping its infrastructural development. So Modi has decided to improve its relations with nations such as Bhutan and Nepal who are pretty close to both India and China, and which had been more or less ignored during the UPA regime.
In the economic sector Modi has paved the way for foreign direct investment in the insurance sector as well as defence and railways. It is expected that this will help in the influx of some much needed money and technology in these sectors.
Negative aspects of Modi’s first 100 days of reign
In terms of negatives, Modi – in his zealous determination to modernize the country – has overlooked the agricultural sector, which still now provides the maximum employment in India and is the most critical component of India’s economy considering its status as a primary sector.
He has also not announced anything worthwhile for the other important sectors such as health and education that continue to be overlooked. What the Indian Prime Minister perhaps needs to realize is that these are the very basic and fundamental areas, which need to be further strengthened if India is to sustain its improvement achieved in the last few years. The Indian Government has also not been able to do anything remarkable in terms of creating jobs. One of the major problems of India, over the years, has been its brain drain.
Whenever one gets a chance to work abroad there is always the tendency to stay out as long as possible. This reflects very poorly on the conditions in the country. The situation is same in the case of education. As far as higher education is concerned there are not many opportunities for all and this also prompts many to seek the overseas route. This can only be stopped if the education sector is simplified, opened up, democratised and made accessible to all, to whoever wants. There have also been some problems with his financial plans like Jan Dhan Yojana with fake accounts galore. So, perhaps there are also some worrying signs of jumping the gun.