Vande Mataram

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reforms - Do we really need them this way?

The meaning of Reform is to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action. When we talk about economic reforms it is about the course correction of an already dilapidated socialist economy of our nation till 1991. 

At the outset the root for the ruins we were at 1991 was the aping of Soviet Union's dictatorial regime under the veil of democracy. Now we're aping the Capitalist West by forcing to extinction the roots of our economic culture. Take a careful look and you won't have anyone else than Lord MacCaulay and our idiotic predecessors who went on to embrace his stupid clerk churning eduction system which deified the western education system and vilified our time tested education system.

Reform is what was initiated by Dr. Manmohan Singh during 1991 under the leadership of Shri.P.V.Narasimha Rao, an independent Prime Minister from the Congress Party after Lal Bahadur Shastri, but PV's rule was garbage compared to LBS. Credit should go to PV as he was the decision maker and had he not okayed, MMS would not have been able to do anything. 

Some salient points of the reforms are:
  • Government control was divested from most of the independent bodies which were key in getting the economy moving.
  • License and permit regime at every step of doing business was relaxed to a good extent.
  •  The pro-Soviet foreign policy was retired and the obsolete Non-Alignment Movement was put to rest, practically though.
  • Private players  were allowed in arenas which earlier were solely owned by Government and hence fiefdoms of well connected Babus and Netas.
  • Competition was encouraged and market (not restricted to the BSE and the likes) was allowed to function on its own.
  • Information Technology and the Business Process Outsourcing were encouraged and thus the dependency on Government for employment was reduced.
These were some of the few steps taken and we had benefited from the advantages too, but they had their own disadvantages. 
  • We lost many local brands in FMCG to MNCs. Torino and Gold Spot are a couple of them to name. Kalimark survived, name's sake probably!!
  • We lost the local soda makers to these MNC brands.
  • We had Leo toys, a famous toy manufacturer, shut shop due to unfavourable stances and under-cutting competition.
  • The local brands of clothing and the tailors have lost ground to MNC brands.
  • With FDI in insurance sector, the conditions for policy holders are set to become worse from bad. 
  • With FDI in pension fund, the mammoth money is set to be put into play at the stock market, and hence pensioners will be assured of uncertainty at older age coupled with the tensions of market fluctuations.
  • Now that we have retailers setting up shop the suppliers and mom n pop shops are at stake. Once the competitors get eliminated the monopoly of MNCs will prevail at the cost of local customers.
  • With the no holds barred marketing and mammoth ad-spend, these MNCs create an illusion that only their brands are good and some are elite.
With the non-governance and policy paralysis, the ruling lot will at least be able to make people feel the chaos which is also a Foreign Direct Theory.

  Some of the reforms we need indeed are:

  • Policy to make the general public benefit from the economic growth.
  • National economic growth not to be calculated based on the buoyancy or otherwise in  the shares trade. Investor confidence is not the meter to measure our nation's economic growth, as most of our people don't invest in share markets.
  • PDS system revamp through direct cash subsidy rather than the corruption laden current PDS system. (This is a placebo not a panacea.)
  • Implementation of Government projects should follow a governance model to ensure the service delivery is proper and projects are worth from the general public's stand point.
  • Make the Government work on a Service Delivery Governance model where employees of the Government, from sweepers to sweepstakes holders to ministers, work towards delivering the service to the satisfaction of the people, rather than bossing around.
  • To wipe poverty out in the true sense and spirit rather than keeping the poor so that 'Gharibi Hatao' can be a an effective slogan for every election.
  • Making the Government independent of religions rather than siding with some religions facilitating votes in bulk  as a whole, at the cost of others who don't practise controlling their followers' political leanings through religious clutches.
  • Redeeming the glory of the ancient Indian culture (pre-MacCaulay days) since the ruins started post MacCaulay.
To do what is needed as said above and a lot more to get the nation back to glory, we need a Government headed by a person who has backbone made of  the general human back bone substance. But all these while except for LBS, Morarji and Vajpayee, we have had PMs who have taken backbone apart and kept it in safe custody before assuming duty. 

We still have to bear with this set up till 2014 and then show the voting power to elect a leader who can lead the nation and flush all the dealers out.

Images Source: Google.

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