Bengaluru: President of the Swarna Bharat Party Vishal Singh has said that India continues to underperform (relative to its GDP) in attracting foreign investment. While investment levels are improving, the inflow is constrained by India being one of the world’s worst-governed countries, with chronic inefficiency and corruption (including in the judiciary), unjustified regulatory barriers, delays in land purchase, and substandard infrastructure.
Sixty years of socialism has left India with grinding poverty: Mumbai awash in slums, trains crammed to capacity with hundreds travelling on roofs. Investors see a country trapped in a mediaeval mindset, with its khap panchayats that forbid girls under 18 from using cell phones, and people who agitate to be ‘backward’. Investors see turmoil, whether it is people killed for eating beef (or for merely transporting cattle) or jailed for speaking out, or for making caricatures of public figures.
Investing in India comes with very high risks. Leave alone foreign investors, Indians have been putting their money abroad, instead of in India, such as in the mining industry that remains closed to business.
Singh said that “Make in India” cannot succeed till India’s governance is modernised and India’s leadership has the capacity to take the people out of their medieval mindset.
The issue is not just about manufacturing. We need to open up the economy to all forms of trade and investment, Singh said.
The SBP recognises Chanakya as the first economist to emphasise the importance of imports. Imports and foreign investment make goods and services cheaper (and better) for consumers and offer competition to businesses, thus forcing them to innovate and become more productive.
For instance, we need far greater foreign investment in retail, infrastructure and service industries, the party says. There is no reason for any aspect of Indian markets (including the defence industry) to be sheltered from global competition. Never has any closed country prospered.
But for this to happen, we need reforms of the bureaucracy, electoral system, police and judiciary. And we need policies that make it easy to do business in India. Without these immediate actions, even those who have bravely risked their money in India will leave after their hands are burnt and capital destroyed.
Singh asked the Modi government to implement SBP’s manifesto, which contains world-best policies in all fields of governance according to him. If the Modi government won’t do it, the SBP will, said Singh. India can wait no more. The SBP is committed to making India a Sone ki Chidiya once again, the party says.