To make the co-operative bank network to become more efficient and compete!

To attend to the co-operative banks and to accelerate credit to the farm sector.

Yes, this was an old proposal but somehow left behind in the current fashions of economic reforms. Even now, see the neglect of agricultural development in the over-all scheme of high profile jargon about the economic reforms. Our current crop of ministers, the bright and the dull, don’t even know what they mean when they talk of economic reforms. The government, led, yes, by an economic expert or experts don’t set out in effective language what they think are the priority sectors. There is no vision, no conviction either. It is all, it seems, just a patchwork of some priorities, often driven, as seen lately, by the interests of various corporate groups! That is one reason for the sudden rush for SEZs! To the exclusion of the whole perspective, whole number of significant interest groups, perhaps the most dominant in our opinion, would be the farming sector. But unfortunately, there is no such view or vision, let alone any basic belief, or conviction!

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The new competition among the States is welcome!

Intelligent Chief Ministers can make the difference!

Economic development is now on everyone’s mind. Only fast economic growth, intelligent use of govt funds, adoption of new technologies, use of human resources, in what is often seen as the merging knowledge economy, we need knowledge workers, to earn the sort of high salaries as earned today, say in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. The average age of the software engineers is now just 23! If at that age an youngster can earn Rs.18,000 per month, then it becomes the standard aspiration for other youngsters.

That is how India of the youth, the NextGen, as it is termed now set the aspiration levels high!

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Agri sector in Bengal disappointing!

Bengal has to go a long way before it can transform the agri sector into a commercially thriving sector for any new agro entrepreneurship. Just to compare Maharashtrian agri sector with that of Bengal is like to compare two different worlds!

West Bengal was once the richest State but it was a very long time ago. Not now.  One of the not so welcome outcome was the total neglect of the countryside, the villages became homes for periodic famines, the State is said to have had 22 famines and the worst was in 1943.The years preceding the Independence saw the great Calcutta killings, communal frenzy and when India was partitioned the great migration was from East Bengal. Even after the creation of Bangladesh  the perennial problem is the migrants from Bangladesh and the city itself even today a very intolerable mix of people, from all neighbouring states like Bihar, Orissa and also from other states as well as poor and the not so poor.

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Retreat from Revolutionary Rhetoric!

Charting a New Capitalist Path!  

Yes, there is a new air of great expectancy in Bengal.  A new optimism and a new sense of purpose in all walks of life. But this expectancy, this confidence is still in the hearts and minds of some people at the top. May be in the  minds of Chief Minister Mr.Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and some of his colleagues!

Alighting from the plane and coming out of Dum Dum was a great experience this time. Here I come, rather come back, after 20 long years!  Also I come back to my old haunt where I had spent some of my carefree years as a student at Tagore’s Santiniketan. Yes, I had been back in West Bengal many times. But this time, I come back with so much change in me too!  This time I come with new eyes and new ears! I am seeing things, seeing the world in a new light. As an entrepreneur and as an economist (yes, I dislike the expression businessmen and in Calcutta they have so much dislike for business and businessmen, but here I am to communicate with the readers in some clear and non-complicated language!)  I see thing, the world in black and white! Yes, your are either for creating wealth,  or helping to contribute to the persistence of poverty! So, Calcutta this time I saw in a different light. Of course in a very positive and sympathetic light.

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Why our leaders made themselves invisible?

Sonia Gandhi wrongly advised!

I terribly felt let down when on the day India celebrated Vande Mataram’s centenary, our leaders chose to hide themselves from public view! What message we sent out?

India needs a robust type of leaders! Yes, when the President of India, the Prime Minister and the Congress President chose not to be seen when the country sang the Vande Mataram, what else one should feel? Except to feel let down. It is a great tragedy that India seems to be going through a phase of a crisis of leadership. We don’t have leaders who really think for themselves. Who really think they should stand solidly with the people, with the common man. Otherwise, I was glad to see school children, more so the Muslim children in many places sang the song.

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