Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day contained several statements with regard to reform and sustainable economic growth that were welcome in their clarity. The prime minister explicitly drew a distinction between the policies of the “past”, in which he said the government was in the driver’s seat of the economy. Those were, Mr Modi argued, perhaps the needs or desires of the time. But the times have changed, and his government intended to minimise the intrusion of government into people’s lives. He specifically referred to efforts to repeal “the web of unnecessary laws and regulations”, and said that “15,000 compliances have been ended by us”. The example he gave of the government’s forward-looking actions was instructive: The opening up of mapping and surveying to firms, which thereby were empowered to collect geospatial data.
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