Monday, September 24, 2012

INDIA ON THE PATH OF GLOBAL LEADERSHIP OR SELF DESTRUCTION

India on the path of global leadership or self destruction ? This is the basic question in the minds of majority of Indians as well as analysts all over this globe. On one hand is the golden opportunity window resulting out of drying up of growth and earning avenues in most of the advanced countries of the world. while on the other India offers a huge insatiable market of consumer goods, services, infrastructure, medical care etc.etc. along with a huge skilled low cost human resource of a demographic mix compelling for all economic and manufacturing activity.
The path of global leadership revolves around the statesmanship of its leaders and the lesser humans in the form of polity will not only fritter away these opportunities but will lead the nation to a mess all around.
Actual scenario:
  • The economy is riddled with high inflation, rupee depreciation, high current account account deficit and high fiscal deficit and at the same time the government is riddled with the problems of lack of conviction and direction, indecision, compulsions of coalition politics and its own compulsions of not resorting to good governance and good economics. 
  • Luckily the prime minister could convince his party that good economics is good politics too. But sadly enough the Indian polity,both of the government and opposition do not seem to be attracted to the maxim that good governance is the ultimate and can catapult the results of good economics to yield ideal good politics.

For the sake of march of India to prosperity, for the sake of poor and under privileged and for putting India on the path of global leadership, a sincere and earnest effort and thrust in the following key areas is required or else India is certainly treading on the path of self destruction.
  • Corruption mitigation the first and foremost growth engine of Indian economy needs special attention from the government firstly through administrative measures and finally reinforcing these through legislative measures otherwise sooner than later India will move on the path of self destruction.This requires
  1. Election reforms on topmost  priority basis as elections are the mother of all corruption in India 
  2. The country witnessed 2G scam, Coalgate, Commonwealth games scam, Adarsh society scam and many others in recent times as a result of  governance which is motivated and guided by corruption and the governance has to get rid of this taint if India has to tread on the path of global leadership.
  • Infrastructure and human resource development could be a game changer in the Indian growth story
  • Resorting to renewable energy sources in a big way for use in  standalone mode and with micro and mini grids to start with covering more than 50% of the households in remote locations, small villages and towns. The expenditure in transmission and distribution, normally referred to as poles and wires expenditure and costing as much as the cost of electricity at the plant is not warranted. Simultaneously large scale power plants utilising in situ, free of cost, clean energy sources  like solar and wind with zero probability of catastrophic accidents should be developed on a war footing for providing energy security to the country.
  • Reinforcing Monetary policy decisions taken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to tackle the problems of rupee devaluation, inflation, current account and fiscal deficits with actual increase of goods produced, measures to bring in austerity in government expenditure and cutting down all infructuos expenditure of the State.
  • Rationalisation of subsidy: Subsidies are a requirement in any developing nation but they have to be provided only to poor needy individuals and sectors with a cost effective and efficient distribution system with minimum cost to the exchequer and adopting procedures which do away with the thefts, pilferages and subsidy going into wrong hands. Diesel is a typical case in point. Diesel cars, fuel guzzler SUV's, top end sedans and luxury vehicles in the hands of rich and ultra rich of the land, factories, businesses and corporate sector are enjoying diesel subsidy along with the government itself and account for something like 50% of this burden. Similarly theft and misuse of kerosene and LPG cooking gas accounts for about 50% of the subsidy bill on these items and needs corrective action immediately.
The government has off late started with some decisions towards good economics and reforms in the policy. Further it is likely to come out with social reforms to allure its vote banks with various doles, freebies and subsidies. Unless and until these are carried out in an efficient manner and after devising a methodology to benefit only the real needy and target audience there is going to be a large unnecessary, wasteful drag on the exchequer. It is still not clear whether the reforms will stand the test of time in the parliament or not,for the Indian polity is very very volatile when it comes to taking a stand. In fact principles or policy considerations are the last word and everybody is looking for his pound of flesh in every vote for or against any issue that comes up for consideration. Even the two major national parties are guilty of switching their stand depending on whether they form the government or form the opposition as has been witnessed in the case of (Foreign Direct Investment) FDI in retail.