Narendra Modi Modi government modi completes two years in office
Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering during a conference of start-up businesses in New Delhi. Representational Image].Reuters file

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be completing two years in office on May 26, this year. It was on this day that the former Gujarat chief minister was sworn-in as the 15th prime minister of the country at a ceremony attended, among others, by SAARC leaders.

However, Modi's image is "unflattering," especially among the business community that had pinned its hopes on him, writes AG Noorani, a Mumbai-based advocate and author, in the Dawn

Listing his failures on the economic front, Noorani says that falling exports, decelerating factory output, piling-up bad loans at banks and farmers' suicides "tell their own tale." 

Exports from India declined for the 17th straight month in April and industrial production (referred to as index of industrial production) dropped to 2.4 percent in 2015-16 from 2.8 percent in the previous fiscal, according to provisional data released by the Indian government in the last couple of days. 

Modi's attitude towards opposition-ruled states came in for sharp criticism from Noorani who said that "Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have borne the brunt of this campaign."

The author made a scathing comment on the prime minister's demeanour, saying "Narendra Modi's habitual descent to cheap rhetoric which is most unbecoming of a prime minister."

Noorani says that except for pushing Hindutva brand of politics, Modi's government has lacked "direction of policy," while criticising him for his handling of relations with neighbouring countries.

In another analysis, TN Ninan, senior journalist writes in the Business Standard that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stands out among others "in a government that has its share of zanies."

Ninan lauded Jaitley for delivering on the "key objective of economic stability," which he says sticking to fiscal consolidation, pushing the new bankruptcy law, amendment to the double taxation avoidance agreement with Mauritius and broadly supporting the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on monetary policy. 

However, Jaitley has his share of failure as well, according to him.

"The black marks would be the continuing problem with banks and asset quality, the failure to prevent absurdly arbitrary tax orders, and the manifest lack of momentum in the economy — and here one must disregard whatever the national accounts might tell us. To some degree, the failure to get the law for a goods and services tax enacted could also be placed at his door."

The BJP-led NDA government has planned a month-long campaign to highlight its achievements. Modi's ministers will travel 200 "nerve centres" across India to inform the people of India about the government's achievements, reported PTI.