New Delhi: The foreign media has hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent decision to demonetise high-value currency notes, with the Singapore-based The Independent comparing him to the nation-state's founding father Lee Kuan Yew while the Forbes said despite “obvious chaos, it is working”.
Titled “Modi does a Lee Kuan Yew to stamp out corruption in India,” the The Independent web portal described the move as “dramatic” and said, “From making up his mind to rolling it out on Nov 8, a new Lee Kuan Yew is born in India. It will be reflected in the legacy of this prime minister.”
The theindependent.sg further said that the “sudden move by the Indian prime minister has brought new respect for him”.
PM Modi’s admiration for Lee is no secret. When Lee passed away last year, the Indian prime minister in his tributes described Lee as the “lion among leaders”.
“A far-sighted statesman and a lion among leaders, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life teaches valuable lessons to everyone. News of his demise is saddening.
“In this hour of bereavement, our prayers are with Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s family and the people of Singapore. May his soul rest in peace,” the news portal quoted Modi as saying in a tweet message.
The Forbes in an article titled “India’s great bank note switch appears to be working – $30 billion in Rs deposited in banks” said that a move of this magnitude bound to create “obvious chaos”, but so far it “looks it is working.”
The article praised the government's demonetisation move as “rather well done, a clever plan”.
The New York Times quoted an expert as saying that it was a wise move.
“The plan, top secret until Mr. Modi’s announcement, was hailed by financial analysts as bold and potentially transformational for India. It is also a high-stakes experiment,” the article said.
The Washington Post has reacted positively, calling it an “ambitious” move and in keeping with his election promise to crackdown against black money.
It said that black money in India “is estimated to total from $400 billion to more than $1 trillion”.
China's state-run Global Times in an op-ed termed the decision to demonetise high-value currency notes as “startling and bold”, and said India may “look at ideas” from China’s crackdown on corruption.
“Modi means well and his decision was made based on the reality in India, since most illegal business in the underground economy is cash-only, and 500 and 1,000 rupee notes constitute over 80 percent of all cash circulation in India.
“Nevertheless, we can hardly count on the new rule to fully root out corruption,” it added.