Modi to CEOs: Let's see your reaction after #Budget2018
At Davos, PM Narendra Modi held the much-awaited roundtable with CEOs of top global companies. After a photo-op with the CEOs, he reportedly said, "All of you seem pleased with me at the moment, but let us see what you say after the budget is presented." Does this indicate tough days for the corporate sector? Here's more on what he said.
'It's a myth that common people want sops and freebies'
When asked if the government's last full-fledged budget before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be populist, Modi said that since the issue is in the finance minister's ambit, he wouldn't interfere. However, he added that as Gujarat's CM and PM, he knows that common man doesn't want "sops and freebies." Instead "the common man expects honesty, he expects to get what he deserves."
'A Congress-mukt Bharat pertains to removing Congress culture'
Modi also explained that his party's slogan for a "Congress-Mukt Bharat" wasn't referring to Congress as an organization or unit. He explained that BJP was "against the culture represented by the party." He elaborated "Congress has spread itself as a culture throughout the country...casteism, dynasty, corruption and exploitation, treachery and keeping complete control over power." He claimed populism was "Congress's culture."
'Lies are being spread about employment-generation'
Regarding the job-less growth criticism, Modi claimed that "Lies are being spread about employment generation." Giving details, he said 70L new retirement funds or EPF accounts have been opened for youth aged 15-25, indicating new employment. Employment generation also happened due to faster pace of road construction, rail-track laying, electrification and port construction. He said in sectors like textiles, government's policies promote employment.
'Criticism over farm distress is justified, can't deny it'
About farm distress, Modi conceded that it's the responsibility of the central and state governments to understand and resolve the problems faced by the farmers. He said some schemes like crop insurance, irrigation projects, soil health cards, increasing urea availability have instilled confidence in farmers.
'NDA has pulled out India from "fragile five economies"'
So, what's his government's contribution to India's economy? Modi listed: inflation has averaged 3% in last three years, compared to 10% previously. FDI inflows have doubled to $62 billion from $30 billion. Fiscal deficit reduced from 4.5% of GDP to 3.5%. Citing this data, he said during UPA, India was among the world's fragile five economies but has now emerged as a "bright spot."
So, to wind up, what do PM Modi's comments suggest?
#Budget2018 probably won't have sops for the common man. Businesses/corporates may face a tough budget. To placate farmers' distress, Modi's budget may focus on rural and agro-based industries. Considering that it's the last one-and-half years in office, Modi may focus on strengthening ongoing programmes like "complete electrification" and "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan."