On Modi Government
The government has steered a lot of activity and pumped in a lot of energy in the systems. However, it has not come without its own set of uncertainties.
Restore Institutional Credibility
The government has shown lack of onus and defence of its own policy approaches in recent sessions. This gave an obvious leeway for opposition parties to stall the working of the Parliament. PM could have stepped in and answered all questions in a question hour to restore the dignity of the Parliament on critical ordinances like coal and land acquisition. It was vital to reinforce the institutional credibility as countries with strong institutions thrive.
The governance is effective if there is a general belief that it is done by people’s government and the political machinery is not run by a set of people indulged in self-praise. A standing example is the case about Land Acquisition Act which needed serious review but the modifications suggested were sure to invite troubles in future. There was an apparent lack of rationalisation in social impact assessment and also exemption to PPP projects was quite vulnerable to misuse. The ordinance itself was misleading and did not proceed to correct the discrepancies of the Act.
Separate evaluation of means and ends
Indian progress to the level of international competitiveness will take time as the nation needs infrastructure, energy, human capital, low morbidity and good regulation. All these cannot be summed up by financial prudence and macroeconomic stability alone as many other facets have to be worked out. Human resource development has to be raised in priority. Sectors like public health have to be revamped to get the maximum out of the workforce. Also, huge investments are needed to erect a credible state which can generate compliance like provision of information systems to judiciary, regulatory capacity, technical front etc.
The government came to power with a heavy burden of mess which was evident in all institutions and departments. Government has taken up some of the compelling causes but most measures taken are fluid in nature. E.g. formulation of SIT is not sufficient in case of black money and an institutional framework is needed which will lead to a sensible accountability. Also, the infrastructure sector has to make newer deals and renegotiate contracts to come out of the previous mess. But, herein the government has to build a sound and corruption free environment. There is a lot being done in black and white but the real issue of plutocracy has escaped view.
Forming a welfare state
It is a state in which citizens have enhanced participation in an economy. A good welfare state is both politically and economically prudent.