No Shortcuts for Economic Reforms: Narendra Modi

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Prime Minister, Narendra Modi explains the speed of economic growth of the country.

NEW DELHI: In an media interview given to Network18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized that his government is not taking any shortcuts for bringing reforms and suggested that slow private investments were a continuing blowback from before the time he took office.

PM said he suffered political damage for his decision to not issue a white paper on the state of the economy when his government took charge in May 2014, but his government has resisted the temptation to take shortcuts, positive results of which were now evident across several sectors.

The PM suggested the slowness in private investments could also be because of his “tightening of screws” on bank NPAs (non-performing assets).

Modi said he had held a meeting with bankers and told them that there would be no phone calls to them from New Delhi on issuing loans to industrialists.

“Despite that, the pace at which roads are being made, railways is expanding. There’s a six-fold increase in electronic goods manufacturing. These things show we haven’t taken shortcuts. And my motto is like what you see on railway platforms — ‘shortcuts will cut you short’. We don’t want to take any shortcuts and the results are showing,” he said.

Modi said the economic situation in May 2014 was much worse than it seemed on the surface. He said he was confronted with a choice — whether to be politically expedient and put the poor state of the economy in the public domain or keep the interest of the nation uppermost.

He said his government had even mulled tabling in Parliament a white paper on the economic condition before the presentation of the first Budget.

“But that would have dragged the economy even lower, markets would have been badly hit, increased hopelessness, affected the market and the world’s view of India would have become worse. It would have got very difficult to pull the economy out of such morass,” he said.

Modi said this was the reason why his government didn’t make public the jugglery that was done in previous Budgets (during the UPA rule) and the condition of bank NPAs.

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