I am sure many must be wondering why it took almost 8 years for Manmohan to come back in ‘reforming mode’ for which he was known when he was the finance minister in Narsingha Rao’s cabinet in early 90s. Who was holding Manmohan back to go for it as prime minister? Was it only because of the allies in the coalition? Was it because Sonia was not sure about the effect of these reforms on the electorate and she was not ready to support Manmohan? Has Sonia been convinced about the reforms as the necessity for the survival and also for coming back in power in 2014?
1.Is it because of the adjectives used by ‘Time’ and ‘Washington Post’ for Manmohan and Manmohan decided to prove them wrong?
2. Is it because of the pressure created by the opposition because of his personal failing resulting in the Coalgate and the politically controversial reforms will divert the focus of the opposition?
3. Is it to make India more attractive destination of investment for global biggies?
4. Is it because the Indian economy was almost on the verge of collapse that Manmohan also warned the nation for?
5. Is it because the reforms will bring a large part of the constituency, particularly the corporate donors that will matter in winning the 2014 election? It appears to be the first priority, and one can witness that in the exuberance of corporate India.
6. Is it because of a genuine love for reform to improve growth rate back to 6-8 percent and the resulting prosperity to millions? Whatever has been done or can be done by the route of executive orders without involving the opposition and getting key bills passed will hardly bring the country in fast forward speed.
7. Was it a pre-planned move to celebrate his birth day and tell the nation that he still can do it? Perhaps the old man after pushing up the former politician finance minister to the Raisina Hill Palace has found one good colleague to support himself and to plead for the necessity of the so-called reform to the supremo without whose agreement; even this much would not have been possible.
It surprises that the foregn media have all praise for the reform deluge. The ‘Economist’ that was so critical of Manmohan, writes in an article: ‘Manmohan Singh has rediscovered his vim’, It has its advices too: The reforming Mr Singh of yore would see them as just the start. He should insist that the government gets a grip on its finances, through swingeing further cuts in subsidies and an overhaul that increases the government’s tax take. Vast, dysfunctional chunks of the economy dominated by the state, notably power and coal, need urgent reshaping. Decision-making within government needs streamlining. Articulate this vision, Mr Singh, and your legacy will be restored—even if you are ousted for your courage.”
And the policy announcement has certainly changed the perception about the business possibility in India.
I couldn’t understand what Manmohan wanted to convey when he said in the address to the nation: Much of diesel is used by big cars and SUVs owned by the rich and by factories and businesses. Should government run large fiscal deficits to subsidise them? Why did Manmojan forget the farmers who depend on tractors and pumps, truck owners who transport every commodity for the common people, and the SME that are forced to use diesel generators that make them uncompetitive in cist with respect to the Chinese counterparts? Will it not increase the farming cost and the prices of everything that the common man buys?
I do also remind Manmohan that today even LPG has reached the homes of villagers and even many huts of so called BPL with costly but smaller juggadu cylinders. Further, it is a necessity, as its use also improves the overall health related issues for every women that are forced to use cow dung cakes or wood or many othe things that produce harmful smoke.
I do understand the logics of Yechuri on the price rise and the oil companies, but can’t understand Arun Shourie and Raghuram Rajan’s support for increasing the prices of diesel.
Can Manmohan and his minister ensure that the MNCs in retail will not flood the Indian market with cheap Chinese household goods and buy straight from the farmers? If they ensure I shall not have any problem.