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India’s Economy Under Modi (Part 1): The Meteoric Rise of Modi’s Economic Agenda

In 2014, Narendra Modi’s electoral victory was heralded by a promise of “acchhe din” (good times), a slogan that resonated deeply with the Indian electorate. The ensuing years under Modi’s leadership have been marked by a notable transformation of the Indian economy, characterized by robust growth, significant digital advancements, and considerable infrastructure development.

As Modi’s tenure progressed, India’s GDP nearly doubled, and the stock market witnessed a threefold increase in value, reflecting the burgeoning confidence of both domestic and international investors in the Indian economy’s potential.

The Modi administration prioritized economic reforms aimed at enhancing investment and streamlining business operations. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) overhauled the tax system, promoting greater uniformity and reducing the complexities of indirect taxation. Moreover, the digital revolution, spearheaded by the “India Stack” initiative, leveraged the Aadhaar biometric identification system to facilitate a wide array of financial transactions, pushing the economy towards greater digitization and formalization.

This period of economic vibrancy was also marked by a substantial increase in the number of Indians entering the affluent class, with nearly 5% of the population now engaging in stock market investments, up from a mere 2% prior to Modi’s election. Such economic advancements have undeniably positioned India as a significant player on the global stage, attracting keen interest from international investors and multinational corporations.

However, the fruits of economic growth under Modi have not been evenly distributed. While a segment of the population has seen their fortunes soar, the vast majority of India’s 1.4 billion residents continue to grapple with financial insecurity, subsisting on less than $3,500 a year. Despite these challenges, Modi’s welfare policies have brought tangible improvements to the lives of many, particularly in rural areas, where initiatives providing free grain, sanitation, and housing have made a noticeable impact.