From: Counting the Cost

Modinomics and the future of India

Will India’s Prime Minister be able to live up to his promises of a better India and implement economic reforms?

The Indian rupee has be the best performing of the major emerging currencies this year, and there is little doubt Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election came with expectations he would deliver much needed economic reforms. 

Modi has promised a lot. He promised 20 million homes by 2022 to replace India’s overcrowded slums, which would cost $2tn – that is incidentally about the size of India’s economy. To get India moving, it needs to spend $1tn on infrastructure, according to the Council of Foreign Relations. 

But like many great leaders, Modi was left with a great legacy: an internationally respected Central Bank governor and falling oil prices, which have allowed him to cut subsidies. 

Now the government is thinking about cutting into its $18bn food subsidy programme, which provides cheap rice and wheat for about 600 million people. 

But how would scaling back India’s huge food aid programme affect farmers in the northern Indian state of Punjab? What is next for India’s economy? And will Narendra Modi achieve his economic goals? 

Prashant Sawant, an economist with Maplecroft in London, talks to Counting the Cost.  

Philippines: A new chance in life 

Manila is home to nearly 12 million people, many of whom live in poor, even dangerous conditions. So local authorities have plan to relocate shantytown residents and offer them a new chance in life. 

The goal is to move more than half a million people by 2016. The people are also being helped to find ways to earn a living, like taught how to run a store, or work with their hands.

So is this an achievable and sustainable goal? Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from the Philippines’ capital  

Somalia: A land of opportunity? 

Somalia was once seen as a failed state, suffering from violence and lack of governance.

But now, hundreds of Ethiopians are moving to Somalia in search of a better life – although Somalia is a much poorer country. 

And while many of these migrants help boost the local economy, they face xenophobia and hostility from some locals who want to see them deported.

Al Jazeera’s Hamza Mohamed reports from Mogadishu.  

Lego: The epitome of simplicity

Simplicity has to be one of the absolute keys to business success – and something like a Lego brick is the epitome of simplicity. 

From that humble brick, it has grown into kit sets, games, movies, merchandising all with great success. But Lego is building this franchise against troubled times in its home economy of Denmark.

First the housing bubble burst in 2008. The country has made numerous attempts to revive the economy, and with the European Central Bank flooding the eurozone with printed money, the economy around Denmark is changing. Its peg to the euro is under threat and interest rates have been cut four times to -0.75 percent. 

Jorgen Vig Knudstrop, the current CEO of the Lego Group, joins Counting the Cost to talk about Lego, business, and Denmark’s economy.