The Modi government has invested considerable diplomatic and strategic capital in cultivating ties with several groups of stakeholders in Myanmar. It needs its support to develop its North East and rein in insurgent groups. Welcome to new age Indian diplomacy.
For the first time since 1991, analysts are praising the intent of the Budget rather than its fine print. By clearly outlining a reforms roadmap and eschewing populist measures, the Modi government may have set the stage for double-digit growth in the next 3-4 years. That is why the bulls are running riot over the Indian stock markets.
The $40 billion allocated for providing water connections across the country will not only better health and hygiene standards and improve the ease of living for citizens, but it will also create huge demand for products such as steel, cement, sanitaryware and labour and help generate millions of jobs and provide a further fillip to India’s fast recovering growth engine.
Don’t look at the headline defence allocation numbers. The most important segment of the defence budget, the outlay for capital expenditure, has been increased 18.7 per cent to enable the armed forces acquire the latest weaponry it needs to tackle a possible two-front threat against China and Pakistan.
The Indian Finance Minister has balanced the need for fiscal prudence with the imperatives of pushing consumption and demand with a renewed focus on spending big on infrastructure and healthcare – without unduly burdening the economy with new taxes.
India’s goods and service tax has too many rates and too many exemptions. As a result, it has not been able to live up fully to its promise. With revenues showing a buoyancy over the past few months, this may be the right time to roll out an improved GST 2.0.