Washington: The Narendra Modi government has been able to push through a number of key economic and legislative reforms in India, but everybody is not happy about it as expectations are very high and many items on the wish list are still pending, a visiting opposition MP has said.
"A lot of legislative agenda which has been pending for some years have got passed (in the over 16 years of the Modi government)," said MP Baijayant "Jay" Panda of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) yesterday, who is leading a delegation of Indian Parliamentarians here.
"That does not mean that everybody is happy about it. The expectations have been very high and many items on the wish list are still pending," Panda said at a panel discussion on "Perspectives on US India Relations" organised by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies of the George Washington University and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Panda and other MPs here are part of FICCI's India-US Forum of Parliamentarians (IUFP). Other MPs attending are Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gaurav Gogoi from Congress, Kalvakuntla Kavitha from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Arpita Ghosh from Trinamool Congress.
Responding to the general feeling in the US about the status of Indian reforms, Panda said some of the complaints about delays in the Indian legislation are not restricted to American CEO only. "Indian CEOs say the same thing," he said.
"In my discussions, I often find that many Indian CEOs are more familiar with US Senate rules than they are with Indian parliamentary rules," he said asserting that the legislative issues would get tackled in the same democratic process in India.
"We are making progress. There are other non-legislative items where a lot of progress is being made," Panda said.
He also referred to the impact it has created in terms of investment that India has attracted in the past year and half.
"In just the first six months of this fiscal, India has received as much foreign direct investment as it did in all of last year," Panda said.
"We all know, India can be a difficult place to do business with because of legacy issues. But they would get tackled over the course of time," he said adding that the ease of doing business in India has improved.
Participating in the panel discussion, Tanvi Madan of the Brookings Institute said from the US perspective, India is seen as a bright spot and not seen as a threat like that of China.
"Things are moving generally in a much positive direction. Modi government has adopted a number of reforms, not necessarily that the US companies would have liked," said Rick Rossow, Senior Fellow and Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies.