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... When Narendra Modi became the country’s prime minister, it was widely believed that he would bring about big-bang economic reforms. With his government well past the halfway mark, what reforms has the PM really been able to bring about? What does the government’s overall reform record look like? The two real economic reforms have been the bankruptcy law reform and, to a lesser extent, the adoption of the GST. The bankruptcy law reform is expected to get rid of non-performing assets of banks and stimulate risk taking, entrepreneurship and, in turn, economic growth. This reform is potentially a game changer, if implemented well. The GST is a distant second. Despite the PM calling it a “good and simple tax,” it has taken a very complex form, with seven different rates. In principle, the GST, which, unlike demonetisation, has been carefully vetted over many years, is a great idea. However, it has succumbed, in its implementation, to the Indian bureaucracy’s penchant for complexity. Looking at the different rates applied, there seems very little method to the madness. ...Indian Express on July 25, 2017, 4:23 a.m.
... On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his ambitious demonetisation policy initiative to attack the scourges of corruption, black money and fake currency. He also spoke eloquently in his December 31 address about the need for purifying the nation of these scourges. The desirability of this policy goal is well-understood and incontrovertible. How effective has demonetisation, as a policy, been in achieving its stated goals? How efficiently has it been implemented? In terms of effectiveness, the move undoubtedly prevents further circulation of existing counterfeit currency in the two demonetised denominations (Rs 500 and Rs 1,000). ...Indian Express on Jan. 10, 2017, midnight