Manmohan’s Era: Vote vs. Growth

I don’t blame Manmohan Singh. This government failed to do much during its last 9 plus years. It must be a great opportunity lost for a person if he is of a mental faculty of Manmohan Singh. But it doesn’t appear that Manmohan minds it. After all he has created record of a sort by holding the highest post of the country for the maximum number of years by a non- Nehru-Gandhi Indian.

Unfortunately, Manmohan has not left a stamp of his own on any of the economic reform. Manmohan could have saved the country with his prudent and authoritative decisions from the low growth rates of the last two years. But he had been forced to follow the dictates of Sonia that are focused only for getting her government back in power. Latest of her dictates is the decision to go ahead with the right of food security that is hundred percent for getting the votes.

Would not an ordinance on the land acquisition have pushed up the growth of the country better by accelerating the setting up of new projects worth Rs few lakh crores that are languishing for getting the land? That might not have the similar impact on garnering the votes. That was the reason the subject of land acquisition didn’t get the priority.How can there will be development if the land acquisitions for any project is so difficult? Let us see the examples of these delays. Odisha took eight years to acquire 2,700 acres to enable South Korean company to set up the first phase of the project, of 8-million tonne steel capacity. It took seven years for Tata Steel to start work on the Kalinga Nagar steel project and almost two decades for Utkal Alumina to construct an alumina plant in south Odisha.

Food security is certainly an excellent idea, but all similar entitlements must somehow be linked with work responsibility too for the benefectors, otherwise what will be the incentive for working sincerely and hard enough to get better remunerations and improving the quality of living.

Sonia has gone by her advisors to see her party voted to power again through the food security and cash distribution legalising the bribes of a sort.

And as I completed this write-up, the confusion over the signing of the ordinance is over. The President has signed the ordinance, the game changer as per the prince of the ruling party. It gives a legal right to monthly food handouts to 67% of the population – about 800 million Indians – at a fraction of their market price. According to experts, including Ashok Gulati, chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), the actual cost of implementing the right to food and putting in place a sustainable food security programme could be as high as Rs.2 trillion per year for the next three years.

Is Congress nearer to winning 2014 general election?

Congress or UPA may come in power again through these doles, but the country’s economy will be under serious strain and cost thousands of development projects that create employment for millions.

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