<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been the target of opposition attack for the “bad condition” of the economy. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has been spearheading the attack holding Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley responsible for slow growth of the economy which according to him is “getting worse” with each passing day. But, recent developments — World Bank’s Doing Business report 2018, Pew research on Modi’s popularity and now Moody’s decision to upgrade India’s ratings–have been a shot in the arm for PM Modi and the fact that this all has been happening before Gujarat Assembly Polls 2017 in December, gives BJP immense reasons to cheer. Gujarat will vote on December 9 and December 14. The result of the Gujarat Assembly Polls would have a bearing on the Lok Sabha Polls 2019. A victory for BJP in Gujarat means Modi’s popularity remains intact but a loss would help the opposition stitch the United Front and build a narrative against Modi’s policies and decisions–demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).Moody’s ratings boost for ModiUS-based Moody’s has upgraded India’s sovereign credit rating by a notch to ‘Baa2’ with a stable outlook citing improved growth prospects driven by economic and institutional reforms. Moody’s had last upgraded India’s rating to ‘Baa3’ in 2004. Narendra Modi-led government has every reason to cheer the developments as it comes as a boost to the steps Centre has taken to the front of economic and institutional reforms. “The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody’s expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India’s high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term,” Moody s said in a statement.Modi Popularity remains intact claims BJPBJP has already gone into the aggressive mode to claim the success of reforms Modi government at the Centre has taken. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity has risen “unabated” across the country and people’s satisfaction with the economy is at an “all-time high”, BJP chief Amit Shah said on Friday, citing a survey by the Pew Research Center.”The findings of Pew Global research are very significant. After Modi Government came to power, people’s trust in Government, Democracy, and confidence that the nation is going in the right direction has gone up drastically,” Shah said in a series of tweets. Modi remains the most popular national figure in Indian politics tested in the survey. His popularity is relatively unchanged in the north, has risen in the west and the south and is down slightly in the east, according to the survey’s findings.World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ rankingIndia has jumped 30 places to 100th rank in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, helped by a slew of reforms in taxation, licensing, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution. This is a major shot in the arm for the government which is fighting a battle of perception with the opposition attacking it over, what it calls the faulty implementation of demonetization and GST. The World Bank, in the report published last month, praised India and the work done in last two and three years but acknowledged that more still needs to be done. BJP claimed that India is the only major economy, which the World Bank has hailed for making structural changes. This is the highest jump of rank for any country in this year’s report. In 6 out of 10 indicators, India has improved its ranking. In 3 parameters, India has improved in 9 out of 10 indicators. In 3 indicators, India is in the top 30. Opposition at unease as reports paint rosy picture for economy in futureNot just one report, but three major reports clearly indicate that policy decisions on the economic front taken by the government have started bearing fruits and going by the indication, and the results are going to improve in the coming months. If this continues, oppositions narrative on economic front would fall flat. In such a scenario, Congress and other opposition parties would need other issues to corner Modi, but then, they don’t have anything else as big as the economy on their agenda. On the other hand, Narendra Modi seems to have calculated the timings of demonetisation and GST rollout strategically–the downside phase of the economy did not hurt the party during any assembly elections. Now, before Gujarat Assembly Election, BJP is ready again to ride the Modi popularity. (With inputs from agencies)

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Moody’s ratings, Pew survey, ease of doing business: Facelift for Modi before Gujarat Assembly polls