The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to ring in major reforms for the rest of its term, but won't leave any stones unturned to publicise its achievements, says a report.
"Rather than look to conquer new ground in the run-up to the 2019 hustings, we expect Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on cementing the success of his reforms and infrastructure projects already started. More focus will be on administrative initiatives and not new legislative reforms on the macroeconomic front," NDTV quoted Barclays India chief economist Siddhartha Sanyal.
Notwithstanding his aggressive reforms since 2014, we believe Modi will be selective in picking his battles and deploying his political capital ahead of the 2019 polls. A likely absence of near-term benefits will likely remain a constraining factor against launching new reforms in the run- up to the polls, the report said.
"Closer to the polls, Modi might consider deploying his political capital more to boost BJP's 'nationalist' credentials rather than its 'reformist' image", argued Sanyal.
At best the incumbent prime minister may attempt to revive aborted reforms like land and labour laws amendment, but will not push them hard, given the limited immediate benefits, the report explained.
"Therefore, ahead of the 2019 hustings, we expect Modi's policy initiatives to evolve around three 'C's -- combating corruption; completing existing policy priorities (resolving NPAs, fine-tuning GST, completing infra projects etc; and communication to highlight how his various initiatives are helping the common man, especially in rural areas," Saynal elaborated.
Having achieved some success on the anti-graft drive (over Rs. 4,313 crore black money have been unearthed since May 2014), Modi may play up this again, the report said.
"Strong anti-corruption rhetoric is likely to stay at the core of Modi's policy framework, especially given the rich political dividend the BJP has enjoyed from the banknotes ban. Modi will keep the rhetoric against corruption, including stricter norms of funding political parties, high- pitched ahead of the polls," the report added.
On the macro front, he is unlikely to attempt any new ambitious legislative reforms until the first half of 2019 and is likely to focus on improving the delivery of government services and ease of business, said Sanyal.