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Why PM Modi seems to have given up on hopes of transforming India

Modi's promise of a new political economy, one oriented around the private sector, productivity and growth was illusory

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Interim Budget 2019 | Interim Budget

Mihir S Sharma | Bloomberg 

narendra modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in a spot of trouble. He has to face reelection in a few months amid growing dissatisfaction with his government’s performance; he’s likely to use every lever available to eke out a win. One such lever, unfortunately, was the interim federal budget that his lame-duck government presented last week, to keep official machinery running till the next government can come in with a mandate and make decisions about taxation and spending. As many of us feared, Modi broke with bipartisan convention: He used the occasion essentially to launch his election appeal to India’s voters. And, unfortunately, it’s one that they have heard before.

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First Published: Mon, February 04 2019. 10:11 IST