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Political Play
CA Dr Sunil Gupta
PM Modi's 'preventive' measures rather than 'active' 30 June, 2014
It is true that with rise in responsibilities, productivity may decline. But, when we are concerned about a country, wherein people are anxiously waiting for real transformations, productivity can never be compromised.
Mr. Narendra Modi has undoubtedly proven his administrative capabilities while ruling the state of Gujarat, wherein even the massive earthquake and the communal riots could not hold the pace of development. And then was the verdict of the nation in the favor of a person who promised for good days for all. While no one for sure can challenge the caliber of the PM of India; I feel a bit worried with a few roll-back measures.

Roll-back of hiked rail fares for local commuters, three months push for food security, and deferred gas price increase are not the propositions for which Mr. Modi has been known for in the past. Remember the rise in the power tariffs in the state of Gujarat in the initial months of Modi's governance, which though was a detested move; however had paid unexpectedly well in the subsequent years. Or for that matter recall the near-ban on liquor in Gujarat, which now is being acclaimed by all. This was the real-Modi, fearless and progressive, unmoved by any pressure or adverse circumstances- Moves that turned 'Gujarat' to 'Vibrant Gujarat.'

With clear majority in the center and with Mr. Modi as the strategic ruler, the BJP-led union government is expected to overlook what the rivals or even the NDA constituents criticize, and to go for hard decisions, which may appear unpopular in the short-run, however, can add to the country's GDP in the long-run. For instance, the Fertilizer Minister, Mr. Ananth Kumar has recently ruled out any hike in the price of urea, even though the subsidy on fertilizers has been adding to the burden of the government. Vital to note, the Fertilizer Association of India has estimated that subsidy burden with respect to fertilizers is likely to cross INR 100000 crore.

Another noticeable event is the deferred enactment of the Food Security Law by a quarter. The announcement came just a day after the government decided to postpone the hike in gas prices by three months. In the same context, it should also be considered by the union government that the food subsidy bill is likely to touch INR 115000 crore in the prevailing fiscal year as compared to INR 92000 crore in 2013-14. Next is the partial rollback of rail fares probably due to the intervention of the Shiv Sena. The union government overlooked the fact that of 25 million passengers every day, more than 50 percent are suburban commuters.

Mr. Modi's words, on the completion of a month for his government, may have armored many of his unlike-Modi moves, but India looks forward to much more. And knowing that this person has all the capacity to deliver, responsibilities have doubled. Mr. Modi has confessed that his government had no 'honeymoon period' and hence it appears that he comprehensively appreciates his accountability. The PM will too have to realize that even a trivial roll-back of vital decisions reveal either wrong strategy-formulation at the foremost stage, or the push of external factors on the working of the government. For sure, decisions once taken with utmost will and on valid grounds shall not be reverted unless warranted.

Mr. Modi's vision and temperament, which prepared every common man to witness just the reduction in prices and upsurge in prosperity, now needs quick expansion and application. Conditions are however more tough and harsh, and the Modi -ledgovernment in the initial days has to scuffle with bad monsoon, the Iraq crisis, farmers' expectations, and the inherited paralyzed economy. And no one appears to swallow the bitter pill of enhanced prices. The best way out will be to disremember the criticism and take hard economic decisions that can pay off in the long-run. 'Preventive' governance will have to be overruled by 'active' governance.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
A Chartered Accountant by profession and Director on the board of Punjab National Bank (PNB), General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC) and Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC). Dr. Sunil Gupta is working flawlessly for the economic and social prosperity of India.
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To be efficacious, the Modi Government must implement Economic Reforms seriously. As a first step in this direction, it should abolish all subsidies which are eating into the vitals of the nation's economy and are only benefiting the rich and middle class farmers. It must do away with fertiliser subsidy, food subsidy, kerosene subsidy and in fact, subsidy of all kinds. Everybody must earn and pay for whatever product he wants. It must then abolish and dismantle all public sector undertakings which are only a white elephant on the public exchequer. During the course of my 36 years in Government service, I have found that government servants and the servants of PSUs were very conscious of their rights but hardly conscious of their duties. Everybody thought that everybody else would do the work and the works, except the work related to the Parliamentary matters and other urgent works, remained pending. The PSUs actually work as if they were of the government, for the government and by the government. They have palatial guest houses which were used by the ministers and government officers who came on tour ostensibly for Government work but actually for rest and recreation. Their vehicles are also made to run for the ministers and the Govt. officers for visits to their places of interest so that they could tell their children and grandchildren which tourist places they have visited when they occupied those high offices. Needless to add that breakfast, lunches and dinners etc. were also arranged by the PSUs. They also provided staff to the Central Government departments concerned for doing the work of the department. Result was that the PSUs were soon getting into red and due to rationing, quota and licensing systems and the losses suffered by the PSUs, the economy of the country was ruined by the government of India. By selling the PSUs, the Govt. of India could also reduce its staff dealing with PSUs and save expenditure. Department of Coal, Steel, Mines, Fertilisers, etc. could be abolished. Then there should be no license permit quota Inspector Raj and let the Private sector compete with each other in the case of mining, etc. The Land Acquisition Law needs to done away with and let market forces guide the cost of the land to be purchased by industrialists. All the subsidies should be withdrawn and everything should be guided by market forces. If the Economic Reforms are truly implemented then the Government could go in for building rural infrastructure which is so necessary for implementing healthcare and education by investing the money got from the sale of PSUs and money saved on expenditure on Govt. staff dealing with PSUs which would no longer be required.
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