John Chambers, the former CEO of US-based multinational Cisco Systems told reporters that India’s “impressive development and inclusive growth stand at risk if Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not get a chance to lead the country after the next year’s parliamentary elections”. He was speaking at the first annual forum Summit of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) of which he is the Chairman. The USISPF is a non-profit organization committed to creating a powerful strategic partnership between the U.S. and India, with offices in Washington, New Delhi, Mumbai, New York City, and Silicon Valley.
Chambers is one of the outspoken supporters of strong Indo-US ties. He praised the structural economic reforms undertaken by the Modi government and the strong macroeconomic fundamentals of India. The former CEO of Cisco Systems said, “India has a chance to be the strongest growth-inclusive country in the world. To do that takes at least a decade to put in place. I think your Prime Minister Modi has the capability of doing it. I think he has the country headed in the right way. The impact of this is going to be so large for both nations that you will not find small bumps on the way to distract us.”
Leaders and organizations across the world have praised Modi’s leadership and his efforts to bring about positive change in India. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank had praised economic reforms like the GST and the Insolvency & Bankruptcy (IBC) code. The Indian economy, which was in doldrums during the last years of the UPA II government, again gained momentum when the Modi government came to power with a majority of its own. Within three years, India regained the tag of the fastest-growing major economy with a growth rate of 7.7 percent in the last quarter. Foreign investors seek political stability and strong macroeconomic fundamentals in any country they intend to make moves in, and investors trust the Modi government because it has been able to provide them both. According to former Cisco Systems CEO Chambers, “He (Modi) is courageous. He wakes up every day thinking about your country’s future.”
If the Indian economy continues to grow at the forecasted pace this year, then by the end of 2018 it will surpass the United Kingdom to be the fifth largest economy in the world. On the front of inclusiveness, India has been able to widen its tax base with monumental steps like demonetization, GST, and an ongoing crackdown on shell companies and Benami transactions. The number of direct income tax filers has grown to 10 million in this financial year from the 6 million in the previous year. India’s tax-to-GDP ratio is budgeted to increase to 12.1% in fiscal year 2018-19 as against 11.6% in 2017-18, 11.3% in 2016-17 and 10.8% in 2015-16. The increased tax collection could be used for welfare schemes in health and education. The government brought Ayushman Bharat scheme to provide healthcare facilities to 50 crore people in the country. These are the pro active moves that have gained Narendra Modi the admiration and praise of international organizations and leading personalities.