The country can progress only if we end red-tapism. No red tape, only red carpet, is my policy towards investors. - Narendra Modi
According to a lot of analysts, the decade 2004-14 under the UPA Government has been marked by a slowdown in investments, stalled projects and jobless growth. This period has also seen rampant crony capitalism due to the lack of a policy driven approach. In a way, this red-tapism arising from arbitrary decision-making has been the root cause of several problems plaguing India during the UPA rule.
Bureaucratic deadlocks, an inefficient decision-making process and a quagmire of approvals required to set up a business or industry of any kind led to a decrease in the confidence of the investor.
In such an atmosphere, the emergence of Narendra Modi’s business-friendly approach has proved to be a big boost to the economy. Narendra Modi’s vision of engaging private players for public welfare is ground breaking. Narendra Modi explored new horizons and welcomed investors while eliminating the scope for corruption as well as unnecessary deadlocks. The episode with Tata Nano has made its place in history books, where Narendra Modi in an unprecented move invited the Tata Group, which was struggling to set up their operations in West Bengal, to shift their plant to Gujarat with just one SMS. After which he made sure all permissions and approvals were granted in record time.
Even though the results of Narendra Modi’s policies were most visible towards the end of 2010, efforts to bring in investment and the formulation of sound policies started immediately after he took over as Gujarat Chief Minister back in 2001. After the deadly earthquake and the 2002 riots, Narendra Modi made extra efforts to convince private players to be a partner in the state’s development journey.
His government organized the Vibrant Gujarat Investment Summits, which were later emulated by different states in different forms. The Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit was started in 2003 in a modest manner to promote Gujarat as a good investment destination. It was conceived as a biennial event to bring together investors, industrialists, technology providers, professionals and experts from across the state, the country and the world. State to country partnerships emerged at the summit and the event successfully showcased Gujarat as the Growth Engine of India.
The Business Summit also became a platform for other Indian states to get introduced to investor countries looking to expand. Eventually, the event expanded from a business event to a major knowledge-sharing event. Needless to say, such initiatives have made Gujarat the hottest destination in the country and brought in big-ticket investments, which has improved employment prospects for the youth while boosting production. Narendra Modi cut down on red tape for approving private investments as well as for public sector companies. When he took over in Gujarat, the public sector companies were in sorry state, but in a decade there has been a turnaround and some companies are even making a profit.
Narendra Modi also invited private support for initiatives in public private partnerships, such as the award-winning BRTS, ports or even in the power sector.
Thus what Narendra Modi has done is to break away from the stereotypical Indian attitude towards industries, which viewing them with suspicion or indulging them in creating monopolies and practicing cronyism. He managed to harness the power of private capital to forge a partnership with the public sector and the people for the ultimate benefit of the Citizens.