India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is about to celebrate his first anniversary as leader of the world’s largest democracy.
In a recent interview with TIME’s Nancy Gibbs, Zoher Abdoolcarim, and Nikhil Kumar, the prime minister elaborated on his plans for his first term in office.
“I have in my mind a very clear outline of the framework of what we are going to do in the next five years,” he told TIME. “What we have done in the last one year is precisely as per that plan.”
After campaigning as a pro-business candidate who turned his home state of Gujarat into an investment hub, Modi shot to power last May with a 52 per cent majority for his Bharatiya Janata Party, forming the country’s first majority government in 30 years.
Already, though, economists and analysts are growing sceptical about whether or not Modi will be able to follow through on some of his early promises. Little progress has been made, for example, to reform the banking and financial sectors.
He said he’s already pursuing reforms that would promote:
- Ease of doing business
- Government accountability
- Technology and governance reforms
- “Reforms at all layers of the government” — whether local, state, or central government
If that’s too vague for you, here’s a big one he hit on: tax reform. Modi said he plans to start implementing a uniform federal government sales tax in the 2016 fiscal year.
He also mentioned his plans to boost the total amount of foreign direct investment allowed into the country.
The prime minister pointed to obstacles that he said the previous government had faced for 10 years before his election, and compared it to the progress he says he’s made in the past 10 months since he came to power.
“In the last 10 months, the ‘I’ has reclaimed its position in the BRICS,” he said.