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What Mr. Jaitley got wrong?


With a fiercely fought election on the cards, the focus of each party seems to be to buy/induce voters through promises of goodies. Whether it be farm loan waivers, minimum income guarantee schemes such as NYAY or others; in this mindless game of political one upmanship and populism, it is the treasury of India that gets emptied, and national growth suffers due to waste of scarce funds, with no tangible/durable solution to the problems like poverty, unemployment, rural distress. What India truly needs is reforms and more than economic reforms, we perhaps need political reforms, to tame the politician, reduce his unbridled powers and increase his accountability to the public. Many economic/social issues continue to affect India such as the NPA crisis or the rising inequality of income and wealth or the widespread distress in SME and rural sectors; it is evident that our decades of pursuit of economic reforms have not yielded the promised/potential results. Our economic reforms have not delivered because they come without the much needed political reforms, to dilute and devolve power from Delhi to the states and down to the local bodies to enhance accountability. This issue came up for debate/discussion, at an annual session of the CII. Former RBI governor Dr. Bimal Jalan said that the emphasis has to be on political reforms. He said that the new government should look at the enormous political powers and vested interests of ministers, who should be made accountable and that the new government should ensure that policy implementation lies with autonomous institutions.

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