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India's Foreign Policy Under the Modi Government

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3 months ago
3 months ago
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With elections looming large ahead of us, it’s our decision that will decide the future of this country for the next 5 years. Here is a rundown of how well the foreign policy has fared under the Modi government. Take your pick wisely!

The first claim was that India will become the most-preferred destination for foreign investment

The more important issue for the Indian growth story is that it needs to rustle up its own capital as one goes along. There is as yet not much thinking or debate on the issue. Post-liberalisation, the thinking has been that India should attract as much FDI as it can. As a matter of fact, the boast of BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley has been that India is now attracting greater FDI, and that the liberalisation of FDI caps for a larger number of sectors and the dismantling of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board are touted as achievements on the path of economic reforms. The aftermath however shows us that FDI cannot entirely meet India’s capital needs. And that it would be a mistake to measure the success of the Indian economy by FDI.

The second claim was that 100% FDI would be allowed in retail

It’s aftermath however said that allowing FDI in India would hurt local, homegrown business . “It will facilitate easy entry of MNCs in retail trade of India and will also violate the poll promise of BJP,” it said.

The third claim made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi  was that he would press for a United Nations Security Council? (UNSC) reform within a "fixed time frame" in the current session of the UNGA.

The aftermath however shared a different story. The Modi Government sought for a “UNSC REFORM” however, all they seem to be working towards is transparency, with no regard to any time period whatsoever.

Another claim made Prime Minister Modi was that he promised a Rs 6,400 crore credit line to Mongolia as well as setting up of an English-medium school and an IT centre in the country.

However,  This promise still remains unfulfilled due to a funding crunch at the foreign office. "Non-availability of funds during this critical working period is detrimental to timely completion of projects and leads to cost overruns as procurement of material and labour cannot be done on the promise of imminent release of funds. Delay in the release of payment to vendors and stalling of projects affects our image and leads to questions on our credibility to complete key projects in a timely manner, the MEA had said in 2015.

To Seychelles, Modi  promised a Dornier aircraft for the country's maritime surveillance and in Guyana Modi promised a Rs 384 crore grant for an ocean ferry and a four-lane highway.

Alas, this promise remains unfulfilled as well. A 2012  report in Caravan had pointed out that  even though Modi claims an implementation rate of greater than 60 percent for pledges made at the summits, an analysis of data from the state industry department suggests that only 25 percent of the promised investments have actually been made.Is Modi now doing the same with his foreign policy too... promising what he cannot deliver?

Modi went ahead and announced e-visas for a country that issues only stapled visas to Indians domiciled in Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Aftermath : While it is a good thing to improve relations with China, the basic template can never change for any Indian prime minister: trust, but verify.

By Muskaan Bisen

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