Our economy must be managed more efficiently!

Two years of Dr.Manmohan Singh Prime Ministership seem to have brought home many weaknesses without much to talk about many highpoints.  The management of the economy leaves much room for efficient and alert management.

The Prime Minister might have imagined that 2 years in office is a time for celebrations. But suddenly he is caught in a multiple crisis situation. The OBC quota, next, the office of profit Bill is yet to be resolved. Or, this will be the end of the road for him? Manmohan Singh’s virtues seem to have run out of steam. After all how long can you live with the typical Indian double mindset? The outward pretensions and the inward real politik!

First, he carried in his pocket a proof of residence in Assam that gave him his legitimacy as a Rajya Sabha member, now he is facing the problem in justifying his actions to prove his loyalty to Sonia Gandhi by trying to save her the embarrassment of holding office of profit and thereby he faces now the Bill getting the scrutiny of the Supreme Court even if he gets it passed in its present form. Also, along with the OBC quota business, the recent fuel price hike is getting in his way of continuing in office with Congress chief herself pretending to distance her from this episode.
 
In politics, you get tripped suddenly and who knows how much sympathy the PM already lost and if rumours are to be believed that Pranab Mukerjee might be lucky if Arjun Singh’s trigger proves the undoing for the poor PM.
 
As for the economy, the PM can’t claim anymore any exclusive credit, if at all, for the progress made so far. Why? The so-called 8 and odd per cent growth didn’t save the country from importing food, after a long 7 year glory of food self-sufficiency and even the best years of wheat and rice exports.

Now, the government has resorted to wheat import and the greater shame, if we can say so, is the fact that even the wheat tenders are not forthcoming, as expected. There is a tight wheat supply position at the international wheat market and it is anybody’s guess, certainly neither the PM nor does the Agri Minister have any clue as to what is the exact position on the wheat import front. They, the duo, seem to be groping in the dark and unfortunately, not many of the PM’s once voluble Ministers are also talking out!

The usually talkative Finance Minister has become more sober and more cautious, the stock market crisis must have panicked him about his handling the finance portfolio and the OBC crisis had simply stumped every one, including Sonia Gandhi.   Indians were seen as an inferior race and so said the European Prime Minister of Netherland, the President of France so openly opposed.  Luxembourg passed a law to block the deal.  Yet, the deal came through!  It is a great day for Indian entrepreneurship!  But our politicians didn’t rise up to the occassion!  A great let down!

So, the country’s more strategic gains, IT, services and manufacturing sector growth that only had pushed the growth rate to 9.3 per cent. The Communists and one section talk as if the further distribution of landownership from the hands of the rich to the poor. Yes, this is a noble idea and yet the ground level realities are different. Today, in an average Indian village there is more land available for sale in the open market at the on-going market rate than there are willing buyers! So, why pass a law and spend your valuable time to forcibly distribute the land? In Tamil Nadu again we see the cynical politicians promising” free land”, that is free wasteland, as if the wastelands are lying free from encroachments or freely available in the open market!

Such wastelands, if any, need to be converted through scientific methods, through some viable new business models to be developed into productive assets and this means only vast new investments. So, you can’t play politics with land reforms in the old Communist style or in the new cynical populist style.

Fifth, as it is, already farmers’ suicides are going on unabated and yet the UPA and its otherwise energetic Sharad Pawar is finding his grip loosening on the subject of agricultural transformation and that is why we see he is pleading helpless, be it saving the farmers from further suicides, it is odd the agri minister justifies the suicides on some statistical jugglery.
 
Prime Minister’s package for Vidarbha farmers running to Rs.50,000 crores is welcome.  But we have to see the more populist farm debt write-offs resorted to his ally, the DMK, running to over Rs.7,000 crores!
 
So, what electoral gains the UPA could expect from this rather “too late, too little” farm debt write offs!

The UPA, being what it is, is an alliance of convenience, see the pathetic sight of the rather urban-based Communist leadership, talking bravely on what the UPA can and can’t do. The Jet-Sahara merger fell through.  It is again a reflection of our poor political and policy support.  The Civil aviation minister denied any delay on his part to do the needful.  It is a poor explanation.  Jet Airways is new India, new economy’s success story.  The government should have gone out of the way and must have smoothly managed the deal to go through without any hassles.  Even the security clearance for the chairman and MD of the company came through at the last minute, as though as an after thought!

A great pity and speaks not so well about the way the government’s seriousness about promoting our economic growth on  all fronts.

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