The Era Of 'Modinomics'

Modinomics is growth-oriented, has an inclusive approach with a global outlook, has its roots in digitality, and has a focus on futuristic policies and infrastructure development

During the birth centenary celebrations of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay in Kozhikode, Kerala in 2016, Narendra Modi articulated his vision for a new India. He envisioned a nation that is free from poverty and enriched with prosperity, liberated from discrimination and united in equality, emancipated from injustice and guided by justice, liberated from filth and embraced by cleanliness, free from corruption and governed by transparency, liberated from unemployment and empowered with employment, free from women's exploitation and honoured with women's dignity, liberated from despair and infused with hope. As we evaluate the accomplishments of the Modi government over the past decade, it is evident that all these promises have been fulfilled. It would not be an exaggeration to assert that in today's world, 'Modinomics' will emerge as the new economic mantra.

The Manmohan era did not experience many global uncertainties, except for a brief economic crash. However, the Modi era has witnessed uncertainties across the globe. There has been a significant shift in the geopolitical landscape, affecting the global world order. The COVID pandemic, Russia's conflict with Ukraine, China's economic invasiveness leading to countries accumulating debt, and climate fluctuations have all impacted the performance of the global economy. While the global economy was projected to have its weakest performance in 30 years, ranging from 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent, global agencies predict that the Indian economy will grow at an average rate of 6.5 per cent. From 2015 to 2024, the average annual food grain production stood at 293 million tonnes. The government successfully utilised this record production by implementing schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and promoting exports. Agricultural exports also experienced an average growth rate of 3.7 per cent during the same period. According to estimates by NITI Aayog, 250 million people in India escaped multidimensional poverty between 2013–14 and 2022–23. While it is true that towards the end of their ten-year rule, the Manmohan government heavily invested in the education sector, the Modi government has been able to sustain the momentum of supporting education.

The Manmohan government chose to maintain the existing status quo in the business environment, while the Modi government actively pursued structural changes. Numerous laws that hindered business operations were repealed, companies were provided with debt restructuring support, and credit flow was increased. Corruption was a major obstacle to growth during the Manmohan government, but the Modi era ensured greater transparency. This transparency instilled confidence in both the private and public sectors, leading to a significant increase in private final consumption share in GDP from 56 per cent in 2012 to over 60 per cent in FY 24 (advance estimates). Capital expenditure also surged to ₹18.6 lakh crores in FY 2024, resulting in improved public infrastructure and job creation. In 2022, a record amount of ₹66,825 crores was spent on the PM KISAN yojana, demonstrating the government's farmer-friendly approach.

Critics argue that the Modi era was characterised by jobless growth, but the facts tell a different story. The unemployment rate has significantly decreased from 17.8 per cent in 2017–18 to 10 per cent in 2022–23. Additionally, the youth labour force participation rate has expanded from 38.2 per cent to 44.5 per cent during the same period. In comparison, the unemployment rate during the ninth year of the Manmohan government was higher than that of the Modi government.

Furthermore, there has been a remarkable improvement in the Gross enrollment ratio (GER) for girls. In 2020, the GER stood at 27.9 per cent, a significant increase from the abysmally low 12.7 per cent during the Manmohan regime. It is worth noting that the same government that conceptualised the Aadhar system initially opposed its passage in Parliament. However, the Modi government successfully implemented this reform, which has facilitated the transfer of over ₹34 lakh crores to more than 1167 crore beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer programme.

Under the Modi government, numerous initiatives have been undertaken to uplift the lives of the people. Over 10.11 crore women have been provided with free gas connections, 11.72 crore toilets have been constructed for the poor, 51.6 crore Jan Dhan accounts have been opened, and 2.6 crore pucca houses have been built for those in need. Additionally, 6.27 crore hospital admissions have been facilitated under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, a feat that was unimaginable during the Manmohan era.

Contrary to the Manmohan Singh government's belief in a socialistic pattern for economic development, the Modi era has demonstrated that a strong economy can deliver for society. Inclusive growth has been a key focus, ensuring that all sections of society are taken care of under the Modi government.

These impressive economic indicators have been made possible due to the rapid digitalisation of the Indian economy. Unlike the UPA era, where fintech remained dormant and our economy was marred by major scams, India has now become a fintech hub in the world with better transparency. Our UPI system is even accepted in ten other countries, with no reports of scams. This digitalisation has allowed India to carve out a significant space in world trade, challenging the dominance of the dollar.

While wealth creation is a priority, the Modi government also emphasises equitable distribution of wealth among the people. Modi has outperformed the Manmohan government in all major aspects. Nevertheless, we have not yet achieved the $5 trillion vision that was announced in 2019. Currently, the 7 billion dollar vision seems to be a more optimistic goal. The interim budget might outline a vision for a 7 trillion dollar economy while ensuring that no individual is left behind in the development of a prosperous India. 'Modinomics' is not just a theoretical concept but a practical solution that can drive growth for the entire global south.

In conclusion, Modinomics is growth-oriented, has an inclusive approach with a global outlook, has its roots in digitality, and has a focus on futuristic policies and infrastructure development. It stands out for its speedy implementation, welfarism, and vision-oriented strategies, which are dynamically shaping India's economy.

(The author is PKD Nambiar, BrandGuru, Author, Political Analyst, Strategist and Entrepreneur)

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