Salil Singhal is the Chairman and Managing director of PI Industries Ltd, engaged in production and marketing of agrochemicals.
The month of May 2014 was a landmark year in the independence era of India, when Sh. Narendra Modiji took the oath of office as the Prime Minister of India. It was for the first time that the Bhartiya Janata Party came to take charge of the reins of the Indian Govt with a thumping majority.
But the key factor for this historic outcome of the elections was the phenomenal connect Modiji established with the people of India. Despite the multilingualism of our nation, he received phenomenal response wherever he addressed the people of India. His speeches were inspirational, refreshing and conveyed his foresight and vision for the way he saw India move forward.
Five years later, we saw the same overwhelming support Modiji got from the electorate, despite the virulent attacks that were mounted against him and his party.
In the last 6 years, we have all seen how he has brilliantly connected to the Indian diaspora, and in turn created immense goodwill and feel good factor within the countries where they reside. Added to that is the global image he has created for India and its potential for investments and partnerships. This is what Joseph Nye of Harvard University calls ‘soft power’.
The India under Modiji saw some dramatic reforms. The fact that he chose to talk of open defecation in his first Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort to launch Swachch Bharat Abhiyan was a pointer of things to come. And then a slew of measures followed like the Jan Dhansukhbhai Yojana, Mundra Loans, subsidised gas cylinders for the poor, Direct Benefit Transfers, a substantially improved Mgnrega and the like. Many of these touched the hearts of the poorer sections of our society, and it is not surprising that as per the Brookings Institute, more than 750 million Indians have been lifted above the poverty line.
Modiji leading from the front, embarked upon the task of improving the country’s infrastructure, and we see tremendous speed in the construction of national highways including in the rural areas, the development of roads and sea ports, and rapid development of renewable energy.
On the industrialisation front, the introduction of GST is a watershed. While, there are issues about its implementation, but the fact that this could be achieved despite the political divide is an outstanding achievement. Similarly, the focus on ICT and digitisation will bring about great amount of efficiency and speed in out economic growth.
Modiji’s focus to bring about Ease of Doing Business has yielded great results, and now the State Govts are vying with each other to attract industry and services. This augers well for the economic growth of our county.
Abolishing the APMC and the Essential Commodities Acts in one go shall have a salutary positive impact on agriculture, and with efforts, and policies initiated for Agri marketing infrastructure, food processing and Agri exports, will make this sector strong and resilient and become a pillar of support for demand based economic growth.
The current COVID pandemic and its severe consequences on the economy and the people of India perhaps poses the greatest challenge to the Modi Govt. The problem is compounded by the fact that its outcome is so very unpredictable, in as much as we Indians by habit and not so disciplined, makes the task of re-opening the economy all the more difficult and challenging.
Yet given Modiji’s perseverance, optimism and determination, the Indian people can look forward to come out of this crisis with flying colours.
My heartfelt greetings and congratulations to Mananiya Modiji on his 70th birthday. May God give him all His Blessings for a long and healthy life, and to fulfil Modiji’s vision for Bharat Rashtra .