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Former Obama Aide Speaks : ‘Modi Is More Attractive Than Any Other Indian Leader’

Shailesh Kumar

United States, April 29 (UITV) - Shailesh Kumar who is currently a senior analyst on Asia at the Eurasia Group.During the Obama administration, Shailesh was working asHe worked on US-India economic relations and policies, aimed at deepening India’s capital markets and increasing foreign investments. Indian economist at the US Department of the Treasury.

Nowadays, he closely follows the Indian government’s economic, security, and foreign policies, as well as its relations with the US and immediate neighbours.

Q : Since taking power in 2014, the BJP’s economic and financial reforms have had mixed outcomes. Policies like demonetization and the recent implementation of the Goods & Services Tax Bill have been discussed widely. What is your perspective on these reforms? Has the government been relatively successful or unsuccessful?

Shailesh Kumar : This government is largely viewed as being ‘Centre-Right’concerning economic policy-making. But I think that’s a little bit of a mischaracterisation.When Modi first came into office, there was an expectation among international investors that he would soon implement the reforms (especially land and labour ones), that they expected of him.

However, development for a domestic audience does not mean only implementing land and labour policies. It also entails making India more industrialised, cleaner, safer, and more importantly, creating jobs. This is why I think the Western audience needs to come to terms with what his economic ideology really means – and that it does not necessarily translate into the types of reforms that they are looking for.

My answer to the question on whether it has been successful on the political front is a definite yes. According to me, demonetisation was more of a political decision than an economic one. I was always of the opinion that demonetisation was not going to be as detrimental to his political fortunes as the media had tried to portray.

Furthermore, the implementation of GST will allow the government to see the ‘supply side’ of the economy, because almost every vendor and person in the supply chain will then have to register with the government.

So yes – these have been quasi-successful from the economic perspective but completely successful as political agendas.