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Modi’s India: assessing the first 100 days

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously coined the phrase ‘the first hundred days’ in 1933 as he set about passing an incredible fifteen separate bills in a period that reinvigorated a sickly US economy. Fast forward 80-odd years and financial markets were expecting a similar window of hyper-reformist activity to grip India. Narendra Modi was the new man in town, leading the BJP, a centre-right party buoyed by a stunning election result that had delivered the strongest Indian government in 30 years. But as we approach Modi’s hundredth day in office, has he disappointed sky high expectations? Were our hopes of a new India hell bent on reform simply wishful thinking?

At first glance, it appears there is fodder for those bearish on reform. Following an election campaign that was characterised by hyperboles about the magnitude and pace of change, the BJP’s maiden budget included no blockbuster initiatives. Meanwhile Modi himself has instead focused on foreign policy, wooing the leaders of India’s smaller neighbours. Some commentators…

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