Media assess government efforts to boost economy

PM Narendra Modi wants to turn India into a global manufacturing hub Image copyright AFP
Image caption PM Narendra Modi wants to turn India into a global manufacturing hub

Media in India are weighing up government efforts to boost the economy and attract foreign investment.

The New Indian Express reports that PM Narendra Modi's administration has identified eight "bottlenecks" in sectors where "reforms are required immediately".

It says the changes are needed to ensure the success of the "Make in India" campaign. Launched last month, it aims to turn the country into a global manufacturing hub.

The obstacles about to be removed relate to starting a business, getting construction permits, electricity connection, registering property, paying taxes, trading across the borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Starting a business in India now requires 12 procedures and at least 27 days, recalls The New Indian Express.

"Doing business in India to get easy, registration in just a day," exclaims The Times of India in a headline.

The paper adds that the government is also planning to attract more tourists by making it easier for foreigners to come to the country.

An electronic visa scheme is likely to be launched by the end of this month, The Times of India announces. The facility will be extended first to about 30 countries, including the US, Japan and South Korea, while Germany, Israel and Russia are also under consideration.

The Pioneer comments that BJP's recent victory in state elections in Maharashtra and Haryana will help PM Narendra Modi to "more effectively push through" critical economic reforms.

"Both these states are economic hubs. While the Centre can unleash reform measures, the success of these hugely depends on the extent to which the states are on board," it explains in an editorial.

However, writing in the Business Standard, Subir Roy voices concern that the ruling party may be becoming too powerful.

"India may get to look a bit like China, getting strong and prosperous under a powerful leadership that brushes aside irritations such as concern over civil liberties and the environment," he warns.

Sexual violence

A new study has found that sexual violence against women is "grossly under-reported" in India, says The Hindu.

The research, by social scientist Aashish Gupta, has established that just 1% of marital rapes and 6% of rapes by men other than husbands are reported to the police.

The paper notes that in general, states associated with gender equality - the north-eastern States, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka - had both lower levels of actual incidence of violence and higher levels of reporting.

Fighter jets grounded

And finally, a week after a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet crashed near the eastern city of Pune, India has decided to ground all planes of the same make for safety checks, the Hindustan Times reports.

They represent almost a third of the country's fighter fleet.

Five of the Russian-designed planes have crashed during the last five years, and the Su-30 fleet has been grounded at least twice in the past, the paper recalls.

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