When the times are bad, the bad news just keeps on pouring in deluge.The economic date coming out is still worrying and the pressure of inflation is still very high. Globally the economic situation also does not help, but with the commodity prices easing it should provide some respite to the economy.
With the exit of Pranab Mukherjee coupled with the PM taking over the reins of the Finance Ministry, there was a feeling that the situation would improve.After an initial pep talk to the nation by the Hon. Prime Minister, the markets reacted positively, the INR gained strength against the Dollar, IKEA and Coke came forward with huge investment plans. FIIs were net investors after many months. It looked as if the situation was improving but then as has been the case for the last few years, the Govt. has again started giving negative signals.
First off the block were ministers like Jairam Ramesh and Anand Sharma, with outlandish statements aimed at 10 Janpath and their eyes fixed on the chair of the Finance Ministry.Each of them with their own regressive ideas of running the Indian Economy.
Next in the queue was our Prime Minister with an interview in the pet Congress journal, the Hindustan Times. the interview was one big contradiction, he started off rooting for liberalistaion, then he meandered off whether it was working or not. As First Post noted the interview was more aimed to please Madam Sonia. His attempt to brush the rampant corruption of the last 5 years was even more pathetic.
The next claimant to the FM's post was off the block yesterday. Our Home Minister, seems to be more interested in shifting offices than tackling the problems in the country. If his swipe at the middle class's fondness for mineral water and ice cream is any indication, the PM would do the nation a great service by keeping him away from the North Block.
The Salman Khurshid interview with Indian Express and the speed at which the minister was forced to recant his interview, highlights the conflicts in the ruling party. Dissent has never been favourably looked at by Indian Political parties, but the points raised by the minister need to be addressed by the GOP, because at the end of the day, they are impacting on the governance of the country, and this continued drift is detrimental to the health of the country.
Our principal opposition party has also abdicated it's responsibilities due to their own internal bickering. The current economic conditions were godsend to put the ruling party on the mat. They have failed in this miserably. It was their job to keep the ruling party on their toes, but they have squandered away all opportunities. The Finance Minister in two successive budgets, presented sets of fudged budget figures, all the leading pink newspapers pointed it out but did we hear any discussion in the parliament. No. They were all busy raising ruckus on petty issues.
First and foremost the PM must reach out to the opposition parties after the Presidential elections are over, and must reach a broad understanding on the path and direction that must be taken to revive the economy. Being in power they will have to bend more, appear to give more and come to broad agreements. GST and DTC are the prime examples. the banking and insurance bills for which BJP is already in support should be passed immediately.This in itself will be a very powerful signal to the outside world at large and will definitely have a big impact.
The second task for the PM is to stand up to Sonia Gandhi and her NAC. New Social Welfare programmes should be put on hold and the focus should be on the existing programmes. The efficiency of the current programmes must be measured, the black holes where the money disappears should be plugged in. If need be the Welfare Programmes should be tweaked to deliver better results. Only when the economy is in better position, the fiscal deficit is under control, then we should have new welfare programmes.
Time is running out for the Congress party and more importantly for the nation. We the citizens of the country demand results, we owe this to our future generations, to hand over a rich, prosperous and powerful nation.