For the first time election was fought on Development politics. Hence, ‘Top Agenda’ should be revival of Indian economy. For this, team spirit must be developed among various ministries, departments and other wings of Government. Then, partnership must be established among Centre & States. Opposition benches must be included in Team India seeking their support on economic issues. Simultaneously, awareness must be created about economic needs of the country at all levels. Thereafter, pushing economy will be a cake walk.
It will be indeed a challenging task for new government to bring the ailing economy back on track. Income growth is low and inflation is hounding. New job opportunities are shrinking and youths are frustrated. On the other side, entrepreneurs are fighting for survival. Fast growing sickness among business enterprises is deterrent for new investments. Banks are unable to help due to mounting NPAs. Regulatory, political and judicial activisms are at their historical peak and adding fuel to the fire. An atmosphere of mistrust has developed due to new class of activism & anarchism branding everyone as corrupt. In such a vitiated atmosphere, decision making process has come nearly to a grinding halt. Ease of doing business is at the lowest ebb. New investments are flying to other countries.
So far, every political party has been selling dreams by making big election promises, but this time public seeks accountability. It is agreed that 100% fulfilment might be difficult but core economic issues such as falling growth, inflation, unemployment and infrastructure deficit must be addressed. In today’s modern world, economic issues are most vital for meeting aspirations of youngsters, since their basic needs have gone beyond “Roti, Kapada & Makan” (food, cloth & shelter). Unlike 20th century, economic power of any country is superseding the fire power for gaining respect among the world fraternity. We can’t afford continuing present status any more.
Despite gloom scenario, hidden potential of our nation is beyond any doubt. We can turn around India provided there is a commitment for growth & development. Priority for new government should be bringing conducive environment for carrying out economic activities in a smooth manner. Entire production sector is being looked at with suspicion and is under stress. Every regulator is busy in fault finding with magnifying glass.Facilitation is nearly absent. Rather, entrepreneurs are equated with criminals. Political activist are giving color to normal business operations and there is no rescue. Media is glorifying regulatory & political activism. Even judicial activism is witnessed for the first time and that is really worrisome. In such activated atmosphere, how do we expect new investment in manufacturing & infrastructure sector? How do we create new jobs? How do we overcome infrastructure deficit and control inflation? How do we increase government revenue? How do we raise public income?
Decision makers are equally stressed, as all economic decisions are looked at with suspicion. They are deferring decisions and delaying approvals. Objections are raised by them justifying delays and inactiveness. Nobody dares taking bold decision and protecting manufacturing sector, as nobody wants a label of corruption. Frequent interference of investigation agency & judicial commission in the economic matters has created a fear psychosis among them. The problem is aggravating since these agencies are not fully aware about economic needs of the country and necessity of private sector participation in the growth & development of nation.
Sometimes I ponder nobody objects idling of power plants due to coal shortage. Nobody objects importing coal worth about USD 20 billion every year. But we object enhancing domestic production of coal in private sector. Same is the case with oil & gas sector. Similarly, excess production of Iron ore is treated as crime but importing steel is acceptable. Any regulator closing down mines or industry is glorified but if somebody attempts restarting, then he is branded as corrupt. Unless we change the mindset how do we turn around the Indian economy?