The scales of illusion that got manifested on the common man’s eyes have been removed, as is evident from the landslide victory in the recent conducted Lok Sabha elections. Around 830 million people were eligible to vote in this year’s general election, and first-time voters aged 18 and 19 years accounted for 23.16 million of this. In several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, more than 55% of the total voters were less than 40 years of age. Every year 12 million people join the workforce looking for jobs. The clear political mandate means people are dreaming about a better future rather than bothering about a sad past. In these general elections, aspirations mattered more than traditional factors such as caste.
This time a lot of people have voted outside the existing framework of religion and caste. At the bottom of it was an aspirational new generation and society. Nowhere is the evidence of an aspirational wave more evident than in the electoral results of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Voting on caste lines has been the dominant factor in previous elections in the two states. This time around voters in both states seem to have rejected their historical caste biases. In Uttar Pradesh, Dalits seem to have shunned the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party in favor of the BJP. In Bihar too, the BJP ran away with the elections. Sure, the BJP played up Modi’s own OBC status in these two states, but its predominant focus, like it was everywhere else, was on development.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will now have to meet the expectations of a young nation hungry for growth and employment. Economic revival, better (and more) jobs, low inflation, less corruption and speedy reforms are what voters of various hues expect from what promises to be a strong and stable government, and failure could invite criticism from all fronts.
The new Indian government’s reform initiatives in economic and fiscal policies over the next two-three months may have significant implications on the sovereign credit rating of India.
The whole nation expects this time to be an era defining moment with never before opportunities and flow of money in the market.
In the final budget, the market expects the NDA government to clearly articulate their economic agenda; and provide a road map to improve the quality of fiscal deficit by productive spending and raising sustainable revenue sources.
- The market would like to see fast track stalled projects at the ground level to provide impetus to growth and employment.
- Auction natural resources should be conducted transparently to augment government revenues. The improving business confidence will drive investments.
- The market expects autonomy and professional management shaped performance of Gujarat PSUs should be extended to central PSUs.
- The government should rationalise and simplify the tax structure and implement GST in the medium term.
- The government should allow FDI in all sectors (except multi-brand retail) to help in job creation and attracting long term investments.