Friday, September 14, 2012

INDIAN GOVERNMENT, A GOVERNMENT SANS GOVERNANCE

Governments of countries are meant for administration, governance and necessary legislations to increase the government revenues so that the same could be employed for the betterment of country's economy, and its masses.The present Indian government has failed miserably on these counts because of policy paralysis, its failure to curb inflation, current account deficit, fiscal deficit and above all mitigation of corruption, graft and black money. In fact the Indian government is a government sans governance. In fact sometimes I wonder whether the small phase of 8-9% GDP growth was just a providential jackpot thrust on the nation because of compulsions of advanced western economies. Any value additions on the part of Indian government through far reaching policies, administrative and governance positives does not appear to be a reality.
Statesmen think of next generation and create opportunities, Leaders Seize opportunities that come their way, while Politicians think of next elections and fritter away these opportunities and dirty politicians simply mess up everything.
In fact the Indian polity and leadership falls in the last category of dirty politicians and they are leaving no stone unturned to make a mess of everything and are hell bent not to use this unique opportunity window that has been thrust on India because of global economic woes.

Governance through courts : The courts have been forced to intervene in normal governance functions for the political process and the government's will was found deficient.The court interventions have grown to such a proportion that it has become a cause of concern as brought out in Disturbing trends in judicial activism but were absolutely necessary in the face of inaction by the government. Some excerpts are highlighted below:

COURT INTERVENTIONS
  • In the interest of preventing pollution, the Supreme Court ordered control over automobile emissions, air and noise and traffic pollution, gave orders for parking charges, wearing of helmets in cities, cleanliness in housing colonies, disposal of garbage, control of traffic in New Delhi, made compulsory the wearing of seat belts, ordered action plans to control and prevent the monkey menace in cities and towns, ordered measures to prevent accidents at unmanned railway level crossings, prevent ragging of college freshmen, for collection and storage in blood banks, and for control of loudspeakers and banning of fire crackers.
  • The Court is made the monitor of the conduct of investigating and prosecution agencies who are perceived to have failed or neglected to investigate and prosecute ministers and officials of government. Cases of this type are the investigation and prosecution of ministers and officials believed to be involved in the Jain Hawala case, the fodder scam involving the former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Taj Corridor case involving the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, and the recent prosecution of the Telecom Minister and officials in the 2G Telecom scam case by the Supreme Court.
  • Matters of policy of government are subject to the Court’s scrutiny. Distribution of food-grains to persons below poverty line was monitored, which even made the Prime Minister remind the Court that it was interfering with the complex food distribution policies of government. In the 2G Licenses case, the Court held that all public resources and assets are a matter of public trust and they can only be disposed of in a transparent manner by a public auction to the highest bidder. This has led to the President making a Reference to the Court for the Court’s legal advice under Article 143 of the Constitution. In the same case, the Court set aside the expert opinion of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to sell 2G spectrum without auction to create greater teledensity in India.
  • The Court has for all practical purposes disregarded the separation of powers under the Constitution, and assumed a general supervisory function over other branches of governments. The temptation to rush to the Supreme Court and 21 High Courts for any grievance against a public authority has also deflected the primary responsibility of citizens themselves in a representative self government of making legislators and the executive responsible for their actions. The answer often given by the judiciary to this type of overreach is that it is compelled to take upon this task as the other branches of government have failed in their obligations. On this specious justification, the political branches of government may, by the same logic, take over the functions of the judiciary when it has failed, and there can be no doubt that there are many areas where the judiciary has failed to meet the expectations of the public by its inefficiency and areas of cases.
  • Economic Governance Through Reserve Bank ( RBI )
The Indian economy appears to be in a mess. Inflation rates are uncomfortably high. We have rupee valued at a all time low value in international markets. We have high current account deficit along with high fiscal deficit and the GDP growth is moving downwards continuously. Strangely, the government has left the answer to all these problems solely to RBI whose actions are leading to a catch 22 situation because of the interdependence of these problems when tackled through monetary policy actions. These patchwork solutions will only give some breathing period for the government to act with long term measures to have lasting solutions and alone will take the country nowhere and will only delay the impending disaster. The real answer lie in 
  • Inflation control through increasing the availability of goods and not through raising the interest rates which will only reduce the growth rates.Economics, governance and inflation go hand in hand and are the only permanent remedy to inflation and growth rates.
  • Current account deficit and fiscal deficit are dependent on Indian Oil Economics in a very big way and requires immediate attention on the part of government to seek a long term permanent solution in reducing the quantum of oil imports as also the subsidy burden in the light scenario of ever increasing   international prices of crude. The path of raising the prices through reduction in subsidies can give respite in the short term but reducing demand, pilferages, thefts and mismanagement of subsidies has to be accorded topmost priority to find a lasting solution.
But the Indian government has chosen the path of 
  • Disinvestment in Public Sector Units, a decision country is going to regret in the long run
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Policy of wait and watch  
  1. hoping international crude prices will cool off thus reducing the oil bill of the nation
  2. western economies will improve and our exports to these countries will grow.
  • And lastly Raising oil prices partially but good economics and good politics will never go hand in hand and ultimately good politics will rule supreme. The answer has to through a combination of good governance with a 60% weightage and good economics and good politics with a 20% weightage.
These actions can provide some relief to the Indian economy in the short run but the long term solutions will emerge through good corruption free governance, increasing efficiency, stopping thefts and pilferages and meaningful austerity measures. Alas, no effort in these directions is forthcoming from the Indian government and sadly it remains a government sans governance.