November 10, 2017

Modi's preoccupation with presentation can cost him dear, says The Economist

All governments have their ups and downs. Mr Modi’s recent setbacks, however, stem in large part from his preoccupation with presentation over substance," says The Economist.


The shambolic implementation of the GST is likely to make matters worse. The government convened a midnight session of parliament to herald its adoption—something that had previously been staged only to mark India’s independence and associated anniversaries. Mr Modi triumphantly declared the GST a “good and simple tax”. But he did not listen to his own advisers’ suggestions on how to make it so. He plumped for six rates instead of three, burying small businesses in paperwork and allowing politics to seep into the rules

It does not help that the government bridles at criticism and harries its critics. Media firms are anxious not to offend it; journalists who take it on often lose their jobs. Even comedians who imitate Mr Modi have mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves.


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