JP Morgan CEO Dimon commends Modi govt for Aadhaar, poverty alleviation

JP Morgan CEO Dimon commends Modi govt for Aadhaar, poverty alleviation

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of US banking giant JPMorgan Chase, has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and berated the “liberal press” for criticising him.

Dimon, in a webinar hosted by The Economic Club of New York, praised Modi's government for alleviating poverty and implementing reforms. “Modi has done an unbelievable job in India. I know the liberal press here; they beat the hell out of him. “He has taken 400 million people out of poverty," Dimon was quoted as saying.

Dimon criticised certain US government officials for allegedly imposing their views on how India should be governed, remarking that they are "fantasising".

India's digital programmes like Aadhaar and bank accounts for 700 million people have led to financial inclusion. "Every citizen, by hand or eyeball or by finger, is recognised. They have bank accounts for 700 million people. Their transferred payments are going through," he added.

Dimon praised India's education system and infrastructure as remarkable. He indirectly referenced the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in curbing corruption arising from varying state tax systems.

Dimon described Modi as "tough" for challenging India’s old bureaucratic systems, suggesting a need for similar leadership elsewhere.

"And we need a little bit more of that here," he said.

In addition to his remarks on India, Dimon discussed various topics during the New York event, including the competitive landscape of global financial centres.

Dimon's comments coincide with Indian elections in which Modi is seeking a third consecutive term. With the first phase of elections over on April 19, the second phase voting is scheduled in a couple of days. Results of the elections will be declared on June 4 and Modi’s BJP has set its eyes on bagging at least 400 seats in the 543-seat strong Lok Sabha.