On New Year’s Eve
Although people looking for specific outcomes of the currency swap were disappointed after listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on New Year’s Eve, the speech had at least two big political takeaways.
First, a number of concessions were announced for the aspirational middle and neo-middle classes, which indicates that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will be aggressively targeting these groups.
Clearly, some of those could have been announced in the budget as they have fiscal implications but were carefully pushed through earlier.
Second, electoral finance reforms are on the cards. Since the prime minister has initiated the discussion, the central government should now move forward and begin working on new regulations that will bring much-needed transparency in politics.
A meaningful breakthrough in this area will benefit the country in numerous ways over the long run.