The historic bull-run of the premier stock indices of the country, a stabilizing banking sector, soaring GST collections, dizzying IPO valuations, and increasingly optimistic GDP forecasts by the global rating agencies have forced American left publication New York Times, notoriously known for its anti-India stance to wax lyrical about the country’s economic boom.
Reportedly, in an article published in New York Times titled, “Stocks Soar in India, Luring Investors at Home and Abroad”, the publication, rather reluctantly admitted that the bewildering economic dividends were a direct result of the fiscal policies of the current Modi government.
Modi’s fiscal policy, the difference: NYT
The op-ed read, “India’s booming stock market is drawing both local novices and global investors to shares of the financial, industrial and technology companies that dominate its listings. The MSCI India index is up about 30 percent this year — nearly twice the return of the global index — while India’s benchmark 30-share S&P BSE Sensex is up roughly 25 percent. Both have notched a seemingly relentless string of record highs, soaring on factors including simple demographics, governmental and fiscal policy and geopolitical changes.”
Such has been the excitement surrounding the economic boom in India that even NYT could not contain its surprise at the mammoth IPO of Paytm that managed to generate over $2.5 billion.
“The company (Paytm) hit its target of raising $2.5 billion — making the offering the biggest in the country’s history and valuing the company at more than $20 billion. The offering underscored the momentum of the financial and tech sectors in a country with a predominantly young population embracing digital start-ups.”
A year ago, the same publication was churning reports that presented a dystopian picture of the land. In one of its articles titled, “Coronavirus Crisis Shatters India’s Big Dreams”, NYT wrote, “The country’s ambitions to become a global power, lift its poor and update its military have been set back by a sharp economic plunge, soaring infections and a widening sense of malaise.”
Up until two months ago, NYT was following a similar stale trope, despite possibly having the biggest pool of intellectuals at its disposal. While numerous studies including one of Bank of America argued that India sat at the cusp of a multi-year Capex cycle, NYT took a gloom view of things.
It argued, “The coronavirus continues to batter India’s damaged economy” despite the glaring evidence pointing otherwise. India quite miraculously has steered through a devastating second wave of the pandemic and came out stronger, sharper, and much more prepared for any future mishaps.
Read More: India to experience at least a decade of good growth, thanks to PM Modi
But why is NYT praising India?
New York Times singing ballads of praise about the Indian economy without any caveat or snarky remarks is indeed a welcome development. Perhaps, the readers of the publication grew weary of reading ‘China watch’- a regular column in the newspapers like NYT where a pro-China image is plastered with the glue being the proverbial Chinese Yuan.
As reported extensively by TFI, as China continues to reel under a crippling power crisis, aided by the high scarcity of ‘Coal’ — its steel, chemical, and textile factories are staring at a bleak future. While China has dug the hole for itself and its industries, it is India, that is set to benefit from the opportunity
The steel industry has been clamped down in China. The Xi Jinping regime is likely to cut its steel output in the second half of this fiscal as well. Thus, the fall in China’s steel output and India’s imports of intermediate steel products would benefit Indian steel players.
To worsen Beijing’s woes, the three main industrial Chinese provinces- Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong that account for around a third of the economy of China, are facing power (electricity) cuts. Similarly, in Zhejiang, 160 industrial units including textile units had to be shut down.
With China’s industries failing, we are looking at a huge socio-economic crisis in the country, where it will fail to fulfil all its basic needs from manufacturing basic industrial goods to producing consumer goods like textiles and supplying enough electricity to power and illuminate its households.
Read More: The World turns to India for Steel and Chemicals amid China’s crippling power crisis and factory lockdown
Strong showing of the Indian economy
While China struggles on the economic front and NYT conveniently ignores reporting about it, India continues to ace new frontiers. As reported by TFI, India’s Goods and Service Tax (GST) revenue collection breached new heights in October as it stood at Rs 1,30,127 crore- the second-highest revenue collection, ever since the taxation system was introduced.
The revenues for October were 24 per cent higher than the GST revenues in the same month last year and 36 per cent more than 2019-20.
Read More: India’s GST boom bears testament to an economy that’s racing for the win
It’s not only at the GST front that India under the Modi government is hurtling through new barriers – the banking sector which forms the bedrock of the economy has been resuscitated as well.
As reported by TFI, last month, global credit rating agency Moody’s revised the outlook for the Indian banking sector to stable from negative.
The credit agency stated, “We have revised the outlook for the Indian banking system to stable from negative. The deterioration of asset quality since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has been moderate, and an improving operating environment will support asset quality. Declining credit costs as a result of improving asset quality will lead to improvements in profitability,”
Reportedly, the agency believes that aided by a stable banking sector, India’s economy will continue to recover miraculously in the next 12-18 months, with GDP growing 9.3 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2022 and 7.9 per cent in the following year. Meaning, the GST collection, which just touched its second-highest revenues will hit new highs.
The aim of a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2025 might have taken a momentary beating due to the introduction of ‘unspecified virus of unknown origin’ but as is the case with any Indian success story, we tend to wear insults and expletives as a badge of honour. NYT, over the years, hasn’t shied away from taking a racist, xenophobic tone when it has come to India. However, such has been the ginormous size of our economy that even the America-based newspaper has had to evolve and mellow down.