Wed, May 29, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Electoral victory and economic challenges for India’s Modi
印度總理莫迪勝選連任 仍須面臨經濟挑戰

Supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers wear Modi masks and flash victory signs as they celebrate the results of India’s general election in Bangalore on May 23.
印度大選投票結果揭曉當日,印度總理莫迪的支持者和黨團工作人員頭戴莫迪面具慶祝勝選。五月二十三日攝於印度班加羅爾。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

On May 23, Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party claimed a thunderous sweep of India’s general elections. The party won well over the 303 seats in the lower house of Parliament required to form a government.

Due to India’s size and population, with up to 900 million people registered to vote, the election was carried out over seven phases of polling staggered over six weeks. The election, known as the world’s largest democratic exercise, was for 543 seats in India’s lower house of Parliament.

The election has been seen as a referendum on Modi. Although his economic reforms haven’t really succeeded, his popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured.

Modi’s vision of India is threefold, political analysts say: getting India into the exclusive US$5 trillion economy club that includes the EU, the US, China and Japan; asserting itself as a nuclear power and a force in the world; and placing its Hindu heritage at the center of politics.

In his first term, Modi was widely credited for trying to change a culture of crony capitalism throughout government. He also introduced numerous reforms, including a nationwide goods and services tax (GST).

These were credited with helping India soar up the World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business ranking by 23 places to 77th between 2017 and 2018.

However, experts say Modi needs to do more. In particular, he needs to reduce red tape and protectionism. In December, the government announced surprise restrictions on e-commerce. These would limit how foreign companies like Walmart and Amazon could operate.

Modi’s government failed to create jobs for over a million Indians entering the labor market every month, experts say.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. general election phr.

大選;普選 (da4 xuan3; pu2 xuan3)

2. referendum n.

公民投票 (gong1 ming2 tou2 piao4)

3. economic reform phr.

經濟改革 (jing1 ji4 gai3 ge2)

4. red tape phr.

繁文縟節 (fan2 wen2 ru4 jie2)

5. trade dispute phr.

貿易爭端 (mao4 yi4 zheng1 duan1)


A newspaper recently published a leaked government report, allegedly buried by the government, showing India’s unemployment at 6.1 percent, the highest since the 1970s.

India’s trade relationship with major partners, including the US and China, remains on a shaky footing.

US President Donald Trump’s administration has called out India on its high tariffs, price caps on imported US medical devices and rules around e-commerce trade.

Indian government officials say they fear Trump’s administration will soon end preferential trade treatment for India, which allows duty-free entry for up to US$5.6 billion worth of its exports to the US.

Adding to India’s troubles is the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, which is likely to benefit countries such Japan and South Korea. India remains vulnerable to dumping of cheap Chinese imports.

(staff writer and Agencies)

印度民族主義總理納倫德拉‧莫迪及其所屬的印度人民黨,五月二十三日星期四在印度大選中獲得了壓倒性的勝利,贏得國會下議院三百零三個席位,得以完全執政。

印度幅員廣大、人口眾多,投票人數高達九億,因此投票分七階段進行、為期六週,被稱為世界上最大規模的民主實踐,以選出印度國會下議院共五百四十三席。

這次選舉被看做是對莫迪的公投。莫迪的經濟改革總體而言並未取得成功,但在印度階級分明的社會中,出身低種姓的莫迪仍大受歡迎。

政治分析家表示,莫迪對印度有三個願景:讓印度躋身五兆美元經濟俱樂部,和歐盟、美國、中國及日本平起平坐;鞏固印度的核子軍事強權地位;以及將其印度教傳統置於政治中心。

莫迪在第一個任期的表現廣受讚譽,因為他嘗試改變整個政府的裙帶資本主義文化,並進行許多改革,包括全國性的商品及服務稅。

世界銀行的經商便利度排名中,二○一七年至二○一八年間印度的排名提升了二十三位,來到第七十七位,即歸功於此。

但專家表示,莫迪還需要做得更多,特別是減少繁文縟節和保護主義。去年十二月,印度政府無預警宣布管制電子商務,限制沃爾瑪和亞馬遜等外國公司的營運方式。

對於每個月進入勞動市場的一百萬多萬印度人,專家表示莫迪政府迄今仍無法為其創造就業機會。

一家報紙最近披露了一份據稱是被當局壓下來、後又流出的政府報告,報告中顯示印度的失業率為百分之六點一,是自一九七○年代以來最高的。

印度和包括美國及中國在內的主要合作夥伴的貿易關係仍處於不穩定的狀態。

美國川普總統政府指責印度對由美國進口的醫療器材實施高關稅及價格上限,也批評印度對電子商務貿易的規範。

印度政府官員表示,他們擔心川普政府將很快就會取消印度的優惠貿易待遇,此優惠待遇讓印度可對美國免稅出口高達五十六億美元價值的貨品。

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