India shifts from socialism to market economy

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    The anachronistic and ponderous USSR-style Government of India is being dismantled. Since May 16, when the numbers delivered a majority Government after 30 years, the considerable action to establish India’s version of the market economy began immediately. The plethora of initiatives that have come over the last month are distinctive in both style and substance.

    All things are possible now that paralysing ‘Coalition Dharma’ and the ravages of a hypocritical socialism have been turfed out by the wise Indian electorate. Public intellectuals, captains of industry, incrementalists, society chatterati, continuity masters, the battered and bruised Opposition, masses of turncoats who aver they always saw the reformer in Modi, and almost everyone else, can’t stop giving the new Government unsolicited but mostly well-meaning advice.

    But the current NDA Government is likely to be several steps ahead of all these external elements. Narendra Modi has undertaken a hard slog, a veritable tapasya, in arriving at this pinnacle in his political career, and is determined to use it to transform India as we know it.

    This will be partially demonstrated via his Government’s first budget, being dubbed the ‘Super Budget’ in certain descriptions. This is expected to outline just how vast his vision for this country really is. He has already spoken of a 10 year plan to eradicate poverty. This indicates the scope of works coming up, and all assessments that try to link the future with the past will prove to be much mistaken.

    The difference is, this time, poverty elimination as a target is not mere rhetoric of the garibi hatao variety. It definitely won’t be more welfarism, but we can expect the NDA to set out a roadmap in the Budget with highly empowering opportunities and facilities for the poor.

    Meanwhile, the new Government is already working like a breath of fresh air, with very few minor missteps so far. I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar has gone on record wondering if his Ministry is necessary anymore with an anti-propagandist honesty never seen before. He has promised to clear 16 months of backlog in the Environment Ministry he also heads, that of the infamous ‘Jayanti Tax’ blockage, but in the next sixteen weeks.

    The anachronistic and ponderous USSR-style Government of India is being dismantled. Since May 16, when the numbers delivered a majority Government after 30 years, the considerable action to establish India’s version of the market economy began immediately. The plethora of initiatives that have come over the last month are distinctive in both style and substance.

    The never-before invitation to the SAARC heads-of-state for the swearing in ceremony of the NDA was a first. So was the quick visit to Bhutan before its 22nd round of talks with China.

    The clearance of at least two defence projects, the long pending Naval Port at Karwar and the listening and monitoring post in the Andamans, was swiftly undertaken. Other civilian and commercial projects, long stuck, were put on a time-bound roster, online submissions and approvals are being introduced, and several pending road projects, looked after by Minister Nitin Gadkari, have been cleared for implementation.

    The abolition of the dozens of GOM’s and the EGOMs that slowed down legislation and decision making to a snail’s pace has come not a minute too soon. The many Cabinet Committees used to playing ringa-ringa-roses and pass-the-parcel at the tax payers’ expense too are gone.

    The total count of NDA Ministers has been pruned drastically, while several separate Ministries have been grouped together ergonomically. The UPA’s ex-MPS and ex-Ministers have been asked to expeditiously vacate their Government bungalows and flats. Scam–tainted UPA appointed Governors have been asked to quit, and several officials such as those manning the NDMA, disastrously at that, have been shown the door.

    The masses of people enjoying expensive Government security are being reviewed. The IB has gone to work on NGOs that are out to make trouble for the Government and its development initiatives. The CBI, no longer the ‘caged parrot’, is out catching corrupt mice once again. It is as if India, the sleeping beauty of the fairy tale, has woken up from its evil spell, and the whole ‘castle’ is coming back to life.

    The Planning Commission, long seen to be more or less useless, has been divested of its financial powers, and the spurious distinction between plan and non-plan Government expenditure is being abolished too. Centralised Five Year Plans, another USSR-inspired relic, are largely irrelevant in the age of real-time monitoring.

    Railway passenger and freight fares/rates have been hiked at last to save the vital Indian Railways from impending bankruptcy. The APMC Act will be reviewed. Hoarders of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, onions etc. have been warned. Air India, disgracefully inefficient, will be privatised like Lufthansa and British Airways before it. Other PSUs will have to pick up their game or be sold along with their considerable physical assets. The determined spirit of Margaret Thatcher may have come to visit New Delhi, along with that of the Go-To-China visionary Richard Milhous Nixon.

    Bureaucrats have been gathered together by the Prime Minister and told to take decisions without fear or favour. Ministers have been asked to deliver in a time-bound fashion. Nepotism and corruption is being checked. Offices and Government establishments have been instructed to clean up and junkets and jamborees are not allowed. Officials and ministers alike are required to put in complete and long hours of work. First-time Parliamentarians are to be officially taught parliamentary etiquette.

    Indications are that a strong attempt will be made to cut back on subsidies that weaken the national balance sheet. The various welfare programmes running on will be tweaked for efficacy, and the gargantuan Food Bill may be put on hold till the economy revives.

    The Government will undertake a massive infrastructure-building programme, inclusive of a thorough modernisation of Indian Railways. Millions of new jobs will be created in the process. Taxes will be cut along with interest rates. Business and industry will receive a strong boost and FDI will pour in. FII investment limits in the stock markets will be enhanced. The $300 billion Indian Defence Sector in armaments purchase terms, will attract massive FDI investment and turn into a potent export earner in due course.

    All this has surfaced in just one month. After 1991, it is certainly 2014 that will go down in the economic history of modern India as the year of the great leap forward, Modi style.

    India shifts from socialism to market economy | India News Analysis and Op-Ed Commentary | Politics | Governance | Economic Freedom | National Interest
     
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