India Inc is growing disenchanted with Narendra Modi

IN MAY CHAMPAGNE corks popped as Mumbai’s bankers, investors and industrialists feted the re-election of Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister. His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeats in regional elections last autumn raised the possibility of a return to power of the left-leaning Congress party, which most of India Inc views (with some justification) as anti-business, corrupt and fiscally feckless. Mr Modi’s landslide victory therefore set corporate pulses racing. The Mumbai stockmarket soared to a record high. So did expectations that he would follow first-term coups like a new bankruptcy code and a goods-and-services tax with fresh business-friendly measures. “Modi knows how to change the goalposts,” gushed one respected tycoon on election night. His fellow moguls nodded in agreement.

Two months later, the elation is gone. Despite an uptick in August, Mumbai’s Sensex stock index is about as close to October’s lows as it is to June’s highs. In July foreigners pulled more money out of Indian equities than they put in. India’s cautious business press has begun to criticise the government. So too, even more gingerly, have its cowed business leaders. “There is no demand and no private investment,” groused Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto, a motorcycle-maker, at its annual meeting in late July. “So where will growth...

via Business Feeds

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