Full Text of PM Narendra Modis: Hindustan Times Interview.
Comment of the Day

April 09 2015

Commentary by David Fuller

Full Text of PM Narendra Modis: Hindustan Times Interview.

Here is the opening of this fascinating and very revealing interview, Modi’s first with the Indian media since he became Prime Minister ten months ago, reported by Hindustan Times Editor-in-Chief Sanjoy Narayan and Executive Editor Shishir Gupta:

Q. Ten months after coming to power, what would you consider your major achievements?

A. Achievements have to be seen with reference to the past. In what situation did the people bring us to power? And what is the situation now? Is there a policy paralysis anymore? No. Is there a transparency issue? No. Is there stagnancy in governance? No. Instead, there is dynamism.

Our vision and commitment is towards the country's progress, its place in the world and the happiness of its people. We have taken a series of measures which has restored faith in our capacity to deliver with transparency, efficiency and speed. We are looking at the interests of the poor of the country and their empowerment. Initiatives like the Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and Soil Health cards are aimed at giving more income and a better quality of life to the common man and also transform perceptions about our country. Our focus on Beti Bachao and on generation of renewable energy is a demonstration of the fact that we not only care for the present but also for the future generations. The direction of our government is reflected in the recent enabling Union Budget, a futuristic railway budget, the pooling of gas for stranded power plants and for fertiliser plants. These show our firm commitment towards a prosperous and powerful India.

Good governance with good intentions is the hallmark of our government. Implementation with integrity is our core passion. We have converted certain adversities born of legacies into opportunities. The recent conclusion of the auctions in coal and spectrum establishes that the curse of scam and corruption is avoidable and transparency possible if there is political will.  Former prime ministers have been talking about leakage in subsidies. Our initiative of distribution of LPG subsidy through direct bank transfer is a shining example of our concrete strategy for helping the poor and the marginalised. For the first time, we have come out with a sound social security umbrella for the weaker sections. The Make in India campaign has taken off and is backed with skill development. It is going to open new vistas for employment for the youth.

We have restored the global credibility of India in terms of its politics, governance and economy. This is because the growth of the economy has been restored.  We have left behind countries like China in terms of our GDP growth. We have left behind the US in terms of steel production. The current account deficit has come down. Global institutions like the IMF, OECD and others are predicting even better growth potential in the coming months and years. India is, thus, back on the global radar.

David Fuller's view

If you have any interest in India, and most subscribers do because I have talked about it more than any other country and market since Narendra Modi, threw his hat into the electoral ring over a year ago, you are likely to find this candid interview fascinating.   

I have previously described Narendra Modi’s challenge as Prime Minister, in successfully managing India’s huge and unwieldy democracy, as the modern day equivalent of the Labours of Hercules.  What you will see in this interview is the powerful intellect, eye for detail and extraordinary drive of this Prime Minister.  He has enormous energy and a formidable business brain as we saw when he previously led the State of Gujarat.  Fortunately, he has no rajah background or pretensions, recognising that India will not fulfil its potential without educating and creating opportunities for its poorest people, in addition to its huge middleclass.  India is the ultimate challenge for democratic governance, but with enormous potential, which Narendra Modi aims to develop.    

(See also: India Outlook Raised by Moody’s While Fitch Sees Faster Growth)

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