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PM Narendra Modi's 10-point agenda: How realistic is that? An analysis
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has issued a ten point agenda to his council of ministers in Cabinet meeting. PM Modi has also asked his ministers to come forward with a 100-day agenda - a list of projects and programmes that could be rolled out in the short term. Here's an analyses of the 10-point agenda.

1. Build up confidence in bureaucracy so that they do not fear to face the consequences.

This is just the beginning of the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to be accountable, caring, populist and pro-reform. While there is no doubt that there will be relative improvements in the way system and government function when compared with two previous UPA regimes led by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the fact is beyond a point it would be business-as-usual with some meaningful changes. That time could be some two years from now but even that is significant.

2. Innovative ideas welcome and bureaucrats will be given freedom to work.

The fact is that Modi-government will be more people-friendly than previous Singh-government. However Mr. Modi is not that likely to accept much dissenting opinion but he will be more entrepreneurial and enterprising than what his predecessor Manmohan Singh was. Overall, this government will perform better than the previous ones when the government-public relations are judged. Sure, the bureaucracy will have more freedom and dignity and it may not face undue pressure from the ministers.

3. Education, health, water, energy and roads will be priority.

Education is not that simple nor is the healthcare reform. Rest can meet the government-assigned targets. The Union government should not propose universality of metric education. Not only India would have to compromise on its grading standards but also on its quality of education and such is going to affect the entire education system in India.

Moreover, such an attempt to ‘force’ education on all unprivileged and underprivileged could affect the labor markets in India and could prove overall harmful to Indian economy. Also, while Indian government may be able to provide education to all in some distant future, it cannot guarantee quality neither jobs to all, even underrated and inappropriate. The job creation not only depends on the government policies but also on status of infrastructure, the status of consumer markets; internal and external, and on government’s reputation abroad among other things.

The healthcare reforms do depend on the proper population policy and removal of unwanted institutional and social inertias. It should be noted that unlike the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank, the Reserve Bank of India cannot print huge amount of currency at just printing cost. There are so many factors involved and inflationary printing could overall jeopardize the Indian economy. Therefore, there are limits and quantitative constraints on Indian government in it providing subsidies to its public.

Thus the status of healthcare system would be not that effective and efficient as desired by Mr. Modi. In order to meet its growing energy demands India need to have a proper balancing in its foreign policy and it is going to require huge USD to meet its outstanding bills and dues. This government has good policy on water and sanitation though improvements in infrastructure would require huge investments by Indian and foreign institutional investors.

4. Transparency will be in government. E-auction will be promoted in tendering and other government work.

This is achievable goal and can be easily met though the commitment towards more responsible, transparent and accountable governance will be diluted as the time passes by.

5. A system will be placed for inter-ministerial issues to ensure better inter-ministerial co-ordination.

This is definitely one of the sectors where the BJP-led NDA regime would perform far better than the Indian National Congress-led UPA regimes even though the BJP lacks dynasty at the top-levels. The fact is for that to happen there has to be good rapport among various ministries and their bosses.

6. A people-oriented system will be in place and government machinery will be geared up to fulfill the mandate.

Again this would be a fad when applied precision and the passions would subsidize with time even though the government can meet some of its targets.

7. Addressing concerns relating to economy.

That is where people expect a lot from this Modi-led NDA government. He needs to meet commitments and promises he made to his supporters. But it is advisable that this government does not succumb to dishonest and unachievable populism. In particular, the government needs to tame inflation but I wonder how much success it can achieve over longer terms as all factors determining inflation are not under its control. It is also true that commodity markets are interrelated and interdependent but not fully globally integrated. Job creation also depends on various global factors and on the status of infrastructural bottlenecks.

8. Infrastructural and investment reforms.

In order to achieve its economic goals the NDA government must commit itself to infrastructural and investment reforms. But then it needs to take a holistic picture and should not always review economy sector-wise. In particular, the Union government needs to understand that India is signatory to global trade regimes and therefore, it will have to meet various commitments made by preceding governments. Investments in infrastructure may require bold decisions on economic policies. In this regard it should be noted that Modi-government has given go-ahead to 100 per cent FDI in defense.

9. Implementation of policies in a time-bound manner.

To be frank this is a desirable goal of all Indian Union governments but in practice this is rarely met. It would be great if Mr. Modi’s government could keep its promises on timely delivery. If in economy this government delivers then it stands high chances of repeating its success of 2014 elections in 2019 elections.

10. Stability and sustainability in government policy.

Consistency is a good property and at least all Indian Union governments should follow it as long as and as much as national and international politics permit them doing so. Stability is a must for governance and also sustainability is much required for the functioning of any government in New Delhi. What is the most important thing is cohesiveness among various government units.

Modi-government can introduce a proposal in the Parliament calling for respecting dignity of all Indians, providing them with better opportunities to the extent possible, providing them with suitable education they deserve without affecting elites and upper middle classes and possibly promising jobs that they may deserve. But sure, few things are going to change on the ground in near future.

Mr. Modi should clarify that he has no quick-fix solution to chronic problems that affect Indian economy and Indian society at large. But sure, he should also promise that he has some solution to many problems that Indians are facing as of now. I wish good luck to this government and hope that it performs well to the satisfaction of all possible people.


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.
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