Economic Reforms – Three cheers at Deepavali time

The reforms initiated by Modi has drawn praise from both the IMF and the World Bank

Modi's economic reforms draw praise from IMF and World Bank
Deepavali lights up the economic reforms of Modi!

For the last fortnight or so, the “separatists” within the BJP and the envious outside had cast a cloudburst of economic gloom across the country. Distress in agriculture and breakdown of growth was predicted by these Cassandras dressed up as financial experts and columnists.

Now, suddenly, within just seven days, the gloom has been dispersed by two the chiefs of the world’s prime financial institutions. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have awarded merit cards to what’s happening in country’s economic scenario.

A statement of the Confederation of India was published on September 20 of this year. It said “The chamber said that positive developments in the global economy and upcoming festival season, as well as government capital expenditure, will contribute to growth.

First came the World Bank. On October 13, we got to know that, at the start of the latest annual meeting in Washington of the two renowned financial institutions, the Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim, was very appreciative of the reforms being undertaken by Modi in the last three years. He told the international media that “The reform process has been significant. We think that certainly in the medium and long term, the growth will reflect the seriousness of Prime Minister Modi’s government in making those reforms.” He said, “The Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be very good for Indian growth.” He also said, “Prime Minister Modi took a very different approach to our doing business report. And his approach was ‘we are going to move up quickly and we are going to do the things that we need to do to reform the business environment.’” And, for good measure, he also said, “The actions that Modi has taken are really quite substantial.”

Next was the view of IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, at the said annual meeting. “Describing the two major recent reforms in India — demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) –- as a monumental effort,” Lagarde said, “we have slightly downgraded India; but we believe that India is, for the medium and long-term, much more solid as a result of the structural reforms that have been conducted in India in the last couple of years.” “But for the medium term, we see a very solid track ahead for the Indian economy,” she said to a question on India. “We very much hope that the combination of fiscal, because the deficit has been reduced, inflation has been down significantly, and the structural reforms will actually deliver the jobs that the Indian population, particularly the young Indian people, expect in the future,” she said.

Then, finally, is the Indian industry point of view. Nearly a month earlier than the dark predictions of our analysts and astrologers came on the scene. A statement of the Confederation of India was published on September 20 of this year. It said “The chamber said that positive developments in the global economy and upcoming festival season, as well as government capital expenditure, will contribute to growth. “Capacity utilisation has been building up and businesses have begun to firm up their investment intentions for a period of time. The government is increasing spending on low-cost housing and infrastructure. Care must be taken that public capital expenditure including by state governments remains elevated. Reforms in the area of ease of doing business will contribute to investments, including FDI. All these factors would help build growth forces.”

In the midst of these three cheers is the anger that firecrackers will not be on sale in the National Capital Region although their movement in from outside NCR will be permitted. Hence, bursting of firecrackers in Delhi will, in fact, be allowed but bound to be limited if you are a law-abiding citizen. This Supreme Court order has annoyed and upset large sections of people including the erudite author, Chetan Bhagat.

He, as a Hindu, has his reasons. Environmentalist, choked by the all-pervading pollution in the NCR region, have theirs. And economic development supporters have their own apprehensions about the effect of this order of the Supreme Court insofar as it halts the manufacture and stocking of firecrackers by the small and medium scale sector. Now, what is right and what is the truth? Clearly, a balance of a kind is needed.

Yes, balance is the need. The fanatic Hindus must introspect whether Lord Ram would have like his return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile to be celebrated as Deepavali by a symphony of melodious conch shells and singing of hymns or by bursting of “atom bombs” that disturbs the sleep of old and sick seniors as well as leads to accidental fires and deaths.

As far as economic development is concerned, the likes of Yashwant Sinha must realise that economic growth is forever a “work in progress” and jumping the gun at this stage of “three cheers” for clear-cut signs of a bouncing economy – rising exports and value of the rupee, and reduced Wholesale Price Index – at Deepavali time is needless and thoughtless criticism.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Arvind Lavakare

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."

6 COMMENTS

  1. In this context, I would like to provide a sad reflection on Delhi’s Diwali 2017 as follows:

    The whole world has watched a whole nation being taken for granted, and taken for a ride for that matter. Well, this is quite a usual and universal occurrence for most Indians: not having in time enough food for hunger, water for thirst, fire for warmth, place for residence, or in general not having in time the needed attention, what to talk of any festivity for fun!

    The four pillars of India’s democracy, viz, the Government, the Legislature, the Juidiciary and the MSM (= Mainstream Social Media), have never so far honestly catered in any timely, sufficient or specific manner for any common welfare, or even a few interests of outstanding merit, of the population. A democracy implies a welfare state of the people, by the people and for the people. Ironically, none of these four pillars are sufficient indicators or bearers of a truly gigantic hall of democracy; indeed, any state, fair or failed or whatever, can flaunt these as its condescending arms of public succor and service. Each of these four pillars or ‘temples’, connoting a unique ‘holiness’ extracted from our naive Indian culture, has its own ‘priests’ specially evolved to subsume people and thereby subserve its own institutional interests. Representing exclusively as ‘priests’ their respective ‘temples’ (= services), in the order mentioned above at the beginning of this paragraph, are officials (= babus), politicians, lawyers and journalists (= media persons). These ‘priests’ can cross-serve various interests or institutions as per their contrivances, connivances and contacts (freelancing around as ‘activists’, go-betweens, killjoys and so on). Such ‘holy’ nexuses can arch over the seven seas of the globe, all with the ‘bona fide’ zeal for serving the common welfare of the Indian society.

    In our typical democratic tale, the people are cajoled by demagogues into jumping into, only sooner or later to be compelled into hanging onto, many different merry-go-rounds of daily life, subject to the latter’s rules of musical chairs and numerous other random rigmaroles. The people hooked up to their whirling merry-go-rounds are treated at successive transits to transaction of trains of non-zero-sum-game deals, much to the fortification of the institutional structures as well as sideway (business, mafia etc) ‘stalls’. So, here we are, scared to the bones to jump off our rapidly whirling merry-go-rounds, and hence shepherded through untold choices and herded into endless decisions, by our society’s sham servants, sermonizers and saviors whose tentacles crisscross the world. Speak or act, but no tradition or culture; question (our priests)– okay, but no contempt or cross-examination; seek info– okay, but no reason or logic; Diwali– O yes, okay, but no firecrackers or fireworks. Well, there you go: right to live with freedom as a wholly benign being– okay, but no upset ‘temples’, ‘priests’ or services.

    Let a tale sum up this lamentation: once a traditional mother-in-law barred her subservient daughter-in-law from using any oil at all for her oil bath, charging her with an all too frequent (= annual!) overconsumption not missing out on it even one Diwali; the same matriarch dismissed every evidence of her own daughter exhausting all the oil with her weekly oil baths, proclaiming that her poor daughter used the oil again only after such a long gap of seven days!

  2. Well Hindus have to be united and festivals tend to bring in unity…
    We also should work on teaching values, honesty and respect for our gods and belief in karma…. And where and how do we do it?
    We don’t have proper organisations or consistent meetings…
    With our own crowd….
    Hindus are given that liberty …that much freedom that it’s easy for other religions to get in between us….
    Have all schools celebrated Saraswati Pooja? Kids stay at home and only whose parents are pious get good going during Pooja…
    How is the common man made to worship Saraswati…
    What steps have we took…
    Simplicity, humbleness and honesty should be transferred to common man of Hindu origin…
    Where can we have a start,…..

    I guess only magazines have a major role apart from televisions n movies…

    Schools have to.impart Hindu education to all students…

    There is one Vivekananda college near Madurai in Thiruvedagam…
    Where there are a lot of good things happening but are they brought to public.. have we encouraged building such schools…all over India…then India will remain a peaceful country… Since it will be impossible to convert Hindus…
    We are a tolerant group but we won’t tolerate Hindu religious conversions..

  3. Should we still be blind to missed opportunities by our govt? Add to it the seriousness in pursuing frauds by earlier govt?

    Chacha Nehru returned!!! Demonetization that was pursued with the big hole for political parties to make deposits cannot be overlooked,! !

    PGURUS please do not resort to this MSM style reporting!!!

  4. I thought Diwali is due to a boon given to dying Narakasuran from Krishna. I am hearing a new story from Arvind Lavakare …….The fanatic Hindus must introspect whether Lord Ram would have like his return to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile to be celebrated as Deepavali by……

  5. Ever since Modi came to power ,journists ,sicular liberals ,corrupt politicians and fake family supporters are trying to disfame him in whatever mammer it is possible ex award wapasi, intolerance, surgical strikes, demonitization etc. These anti nationals accustomed to the crumbs thrown at them by the looting family will never think for a second about the security and development of India.

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