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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

'India First' to be Narendra Modi's mantra for economic revival

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 14, 2013
First Published: 23:31 IST(14/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:12 IST(15/9/2013)

The declaration of Narendra Modi as BJP prime minister candidate will hasten putting together of a blueprint by the party for revival of India's economy. It is to be woven around his slogan of "India First" for shaping policies in key sectors, say key aides.

Modi wants this concept to be the basis of BJP's thrust plans for the economic growth, a key aide told HT. This should serve his image as a "go-getter and a doer".

Currently, these ideas are under process and not yet crystallised. Also, Modi is not relying on any select group of experts but rather receiving ideas from various people who are writing to him with suggestions.

His emphasis is that "if you deliver good governance, there will be growth, economic opportunities, development and everything else".

Modi wants not crony capitalism but what serves the country best, which should be the "yardstick" for deciding the viability of every project or scheme that will serve to kick start the economy, trigger boom in infrastructure development, and incentivise agriculture and industrial investment.

With the business community gung ho about his purported ability to get things done for them without delay, Modi told his aides that his economic model, which may be outlined in the BJP documents, must reflect his belief in "hard core and merit-based governance".

But before the BJP can put these ideas on paper, Modi and other senior BJP leaders are likely to have extensive discussion for a "unified" approach.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitely and Yashwant Sinha - who are part of the party's economic think tank - say whatever helps India's productive capacity grow will be the BJP's plan.

"The best of the NDA policies (between 1998 and 2004) will be replicated. We will end the current situation where investments could be confiscated, licenses could be cancelled," Jaitely told HT.

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