Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 221

This is India’s moment. Will Modi blow it?

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 18 Maggio 2022

A novel confluence of forces stands to transform India’s economy over the next decade. As the cost of technology has dropped, the country has rolled out a “tech stack”: a set of national, state-sponsored digital services that link ordinary Indians with an electronic identity, payments and tax systems, and bank accounts. The rapid adoption of these platforms has turbocharged the world’s third-largest startup scene after America’s and China’s. Alongside that, India is creating bigger business clusters, including in tech and renewable energy, and hopes to gain as supply chains shift from China. It has also used a direct, real-time, digital welfare system to pay $200bn over three years to about 950m people who would otherwise have missed out. Behind this stands the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has benefited from global trends and the work of its predecessors, but has also got things right by backing the tech stack and direct welfare, and persevering with the painful task of shrinking the informal economy. It is led by Narendra Modi, whose dominance is both a source of stability and a threat. One risk is the BJP’s abhorrent hostility towards Muslims, which it uses to rally its political base. Mr Modi also indulges cronies and is prickly and vindictive towards his critics, co-opting the bureaucracy to bully the press and the courts. India’s growth promises to improve the lives of 1.4bn people and change the balance of power in Asia. The opportunity is India’s and Mr Modi’s to squander. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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