The Indian Railways has invited domestic and foreign players to run 151 trains on 109 pairs of routes and expects the first private train to roll out by April 2023. This could change the paradigm of Indian Railways and throw open a new growth sector for Indian and foreign companies.
The Indian Prime Minister’s hard-nosed strategy of building bridges with the West is paying rich dividends; the US and Germany highlighted Beijing’s growing diplomatic isolation by blocking an insidious Chinese proposal to blame India for the June 29 terror attack on the Karachi Stock Exchange.
India’s recent election to two prestigious international bodies, as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as a Chair of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization, at a time when the global order is in a state of flux offers the Modi government a chance to help shape a more equitable world.
Keeping in mind the dictum that every challenge is also an opportunity, the time is right for the Narendra Modi government to launch second-generation reforms to unshackle the economy and put it back on the high growth trajectory.
A battle-hardened military, decades-long experience in high altitude warfare together with India’s recent elevation to the Chair of the WHO Executive Board, its election to the UNSC and its close diplomatic ties with like-minded democracies such as the US, Japan, France, Israel, the UK and others will help it counter Beijing’s aggression.
The two Union Territories, freed from the draconian provisions of Article 370 by the Modi government last year, are now ready to showcase their potential in diverse sectors such as hydropower, solar power, food processing, handicrafts and tourism.
Global agencies such as IMF, S&P and Fitch are projecting very high growth rates for India next year. Then, many companies looking for alternatives to China are likely to set up manufacturing facilities in India. And the reforms measures unveiled by the Modi government will sustain high growth rates for many years to come. All these will combine to increase India’s attractiveness as a global investment destination.