Today, as we gaze wistfully at the miserable state of our portfolios, our thoughts drift back to that balmy day in February 2015 when Jim Rogers, the maverick legendary trader, had first rung the alarm bell that Namo is only talk and no action.
“Cleaning Toilets Is Wonderful But NAMO Has Done No Work For The Economy” the headlines screamed. What surprised us at that time is that Jim Rogers’ rabid utterances found support from eminent thinkers like Narayana Murthy, Deepak Parekh, Akash Prakash, Ajay Srivastava etc. “Nothing has changed in the Modi Raj … impatience is creeping in as to why no changes are happening” Deepak Parekh, the “guiding voice” of India Inc said, echoing the sentiments of the intelligentsia.
Akash Prakash boldly issued a chilling warning to NAMO that Investors are “deeply disappointed“. He warned that if NAMO did not “get his act together”, there would be a “mass exodus” of foreign investors from India.
“Have these imbeciles lost their marbles” we wondered aloud even as we united under the dynamic leadership of Nilesh Shah, Samir Arora and Porinju Veliyath to launch vicious counter-attacks on Jim Rogers and the other detractors of NAMO.
Since that fateful day, about a year ago, the Sensex has plunged 20%. Our individual portfolios have so lost so much value that it hurts to even think about it.
In retrospect, the criticism against NAMO by Jim Rogers and the others does not appear unjustified.
NAMO has a long list of failures such as OROP, GST, Black Money (Jhumla), Inflation, corruption, Swacch Bharat (cess), service-tax hike. His obsession with irrelevant issues like the Beef Ban etc coupled with a penchant for travelling abroad at the drop of a hat has not helped matters. To make matters worse, there is talk of more buffoonery from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of quixotic steps like abolishing the capital gains tax exemption etc.
Not surprisingly, investors’ confidence is at an all-time low. Rank and file investors are now wondering whether NAMO will ever be able to deliver all that he promised during the elections or it is all just talk (Jhumla).
This is the opportune time for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, NAMO’s arch enemies, to launch a blistering, no-holds-barred attack against NAMO and his policies.
In a missive issued by the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have alleged that “PM Modi has systematically undermined all the good work done by the previous UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh. From destroying the various welfare schemes that empowered the poor, to profiteering from the historic low prices of crude, PM Modi Government is an example of how not to manage a nation’s economy“. It is also pointed out that while the Sensex surged from 17,026 (on 03.08.2012) to 23,905 (on 15.05.2014) during the Congress regime, the Sensex has slumped from 24,716 (on 26.05.2014) to 22,951 (on 11.02.2016) during NAMO’s regime.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is famed for his ability to keep silent, has also found his voice. In an interview to India Today, MMS took a swipe at NAMO by declaring that there is a “crises of confidence” and that “people don’t believe the government“. He also lamented that the investment rate is as low as 32 percent and that “the government is not able to get its act together to persuade the business community to take advantage of these fortuitous circumstances to step up the rate of investment at home“. He also pointed out that the scepter of “tax terrorism” for which Pranab Mukherjee and Chidu were notorious is still active under Arun Jaitley’s watch.
In an amusing twist of irony, Manmohan Singh accused NAMO of “never speaking” and being “quiet” on issues such as the beef ban, Muzaffarnagar etc.
The embarrassing situation is that some commentators are now suggesting that even MMS (with all his defects) made a “better Prime Minister” that NAMO.
Whether this allegation is true or not is not known. What is known is that hapless novice investors like you and me are sitting with our battered portfolios and wondering when, if at all, the “Acche Din” promised by NAMO will come!