Modi Must Dare Attempt Big-Ticket Reforms To Boost Economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take address the issue of too many sectors of the economy underperforming as is education


The Narendra Modi government, at the helm in its second term, strong enough with the people’s unprecedented mandate, is obviously a welfare regime, but is still looking for ways to settle on a path that will banish poverty, creating newer opportunities for every citizen of the country to turn resourceful with some occupation or job in hand.

Questions are often asked why our manufacturing is not globally competitive. Why are our exports and imports not matching our expectations despite our best efforts to overcome the mismatch by employing our best brains to stall the slide.? Why have we failed to focus on sectors that have high potentials of growth? Why has agriculture often been summarily dismissed as a non-priority sector? Why is our education system not uniformly conducive to growth and development? Why are our graduate and postgraduate youth not employable? Why do we allow fake, pseudo and money-churning ‘educational institutions’ to flourish that impart poor or no education at all, landing the massive youth force on a barren, infertile land?

The prime minister has successfully broken the caste barriers in this election but has repeatedly stated that India has only two castes — one of the poor people and the other of those who are struggling to remove this curse of poverty from the country’s surface. This makes the Modi government look still grappling with these nagging questions. And why not? He has a massive task at hand, of building an India that is free of poverty, free of social disharmony and free of the cruel, exploitative, parasitic monsters who have been enjoying power and pelf at the cost of the poor and the downtrodden sections of society for decades.

Modi ji, subsidies, freebies must go

If the govt wants to beat the noxiously staring economic slowdown effectively, giving the poor his due, then it will have to go for big-ticket in each sector of substance, no matter even if that happens to be weird and politically incorrect. Limits must be placed on subsidies and freebies. The long-pursued regimen of outlandish subsidies for a vote must go. There is no room for appeasement of any section for electoral support. Bring Muslim youths into national mainstream through right, constructive education, weaning them away from getting into dark alleys of spoliation and destruction.

The government has to identify all productive forces and utilise them effectively for boosting national growth and development. It’s time to translate ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas into reality with a firm hand. The 2019 mandate calls for a great governing drive to promote people’s well-being and prosperity.

Need for swift revival of realty sector

No doubt, the prime minister is burning the midnight oil, with his team of planners and executive big wheels, to unleash a blueprint of phenomenal growth, but the momentum must show up fast and pick up quickly. Make in India and start-ups, vigorously pursued by Modi’s workaholic chieftains, notably such as former Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, worked well for anyone to peruse, but the focus must also come now to sectors and areas where land and manpower can create wonders.

If the real estate sector is awfully beaten down today, with builders criminally playing with the investors’ money, it carries the stigma of the corrupt UPA regime and also of the governments of self-seeking regional political bigwigs. It’s time to revive this sector.

Quick work on Modi government’s 100-days blueprint

In its election manifesto, BJP promised to turn India into a $5 trillion economy by 2025 and reiterated its commitment to double farm income by 2022. It is understood that the prime minister is fully focused on this commitment and also on its 100 days’ target of quick deliveries, to begin with. It proposes to revive rural consumption and address liquidity stress of non- banking financial institutions with a sense of urgency. Eyes must also be kept on the market, in coordination with RBI, and spending must be driven to revive industrial growth.

Suresh Prabhu, as Industry Minister, had worked on a new industrial policy that aimed at linking the country with the global supply chain. One hopes that would be pursued vigorously. The code on wages will most likely be introduced in the Lok Sabha shortly. It is hoped the measures like further simplification of the GST structure and incentives for MSMEs to generate employment would also come up soon.

The prime minister must, however, absorb the fact that aspirations of the people are soaring, almost reaching the skies. His government’s response, therefore, has to match these high expectations. There is, however, no reason not to expect the government to pass the first test of 100 days with flying colours. Just wait and watch!

Welcome crusade against corruption

In the first meeting of his new Council of Ministers on Wednesday, Modi did well to ask the senior ministers to reach office on time and avoid working from home to set an example for others and also hand-hold the new incumbents, so that they are able to perform their part as per the need of the hour. Their energies must be utilized fully, he seemed to tell the seniors. In another welcome step, he has retired a dozen corrupt and non-performing top income tax officials, sending a clear message to others either to work with honesty and integrity or be prepared to get axed.

Right, the administration needs to be cleansed of the Augean stables. This has been long overdue now. Apparently, the prime minister is clear that there is no place for the corrupt under his scheme of things. Hope, this crusade will go on with a tough hand. Even those political executives in his new team, who are found breaching this line of integrity and ethics, must also be sent out.

Prabhu’s non-inclusion too glaring

That Prabhu was brought in as a Shiv Sena man in the Modi team, only at the latter’s volition, should have had no negative bearing on the prime minister’s thinking, even if his senior BJP colleagues made such a case against him. The prime minister is known to be appreciating Prabhu’s deliveries all these years. However, it is for the prime minister to apply the corrective here, if he thinks this glaring omission has gone contrary to reason, in part or in absolute terms. If we go into the record of his performance in the three major departments he handled, we will find it “very close” to or surpassing the prime minister’s vision in most of the areas.

However, political compulsions, more often than not, ride the expanse of time and space, bypassing the trajectory of pressing need. That, to say the least, is not a wholesome, nourishing proposition on the factors of national need. I personally feel his non-inclusion in the Cabinet is a national loss!

Pakistan needs more Balakot-type actions

As for the relentless Pakistani terror strikes at the Kashmiri secessionists’ instance that plague the national security, a greater part of Indians wants re-runs of the Balakot airstrike in quick succession so long as Islamabad refuses to stop the bloodshed in Kashmir. During the last two months, Pakistani terrorists have killed over a dozen security personnel and civilians. Since the Modi government has shifted from the old policy of ‘strategic restraint’ to one of the strong military responses, in keeping with its ‘muscular’ policy, the Indian citizens’ expectations are centred on more aggressive military actions on India’s part to pass on a clear message to both China and Pakistan that this country has changed.

The Manmohan regime’s spineless responses to Pakistani terror attacks had unfortunately left a trail of endemic Indian weakness vis-a-vis the Sino-Pak belligerent axis. The Modi government is trying to wipe that slur out in quick retaliation, fully conscious of the fact that China, having colonized Pakistan, continues to be a terrific spoiler of Indo-Pak ties.

Previous articleHong Kong protests lead to suspension of China extradition bill
Next articleGovernment Suffering From Moby-Dick Syndrome
Former senior editor at The Hindustan Times, has worked with Right Impact Media Inc, KRIBHCO, The National Herald and United News of India

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.