Sunday, August 30, 2009


It was nice to hear the President of India unfolding the new deal plan of Man Mohan Singh’s Government with quotation from Rabindranath Tagore. Long back, Plato wished that the city state should be governed by the writers and philosophers. If that was not possible now, it was of course possible to seek advice from intellectuals and writers. The President Prathiva Patil exactly did that while addressing the joint session of parliament yesterday.

Rabindra Nath Tagore once said “The dreary desert sand of dead habit must be left behind. Our young people are tearing down the narrow domestic walls of religion, regions, language, caste and gender that confine them. The nation must invest in their hope….” The words were simple yet full of profound thoughts. If really Government can achieve what it promised to do within 100 days it would be an achievements of a short. It appears Man Mohan Singh is bent upon achieving the objective at least as on date. He and Sonia Gandhi would do deserve kudos even if the government can achieve half of the promise.

The government’s promise of transparency and accountability in New Deal programme would be a difficult task.. It easier said than done. The president referred that the next decade would be dedicated as the decade of innovation. “It is a symbolic gesture but an important gesture to drive home need to be innovative in finding solutions to our many challenges”. Now the question arises whether Government of Indian will be able to stand by what it has promised to achieve during 100 days?

The divestment promised would perhaps be symbolic. The Government needs lots of money to bring down fiscal deficit. The divestment could have been a very important vehicle to make available huge monetary resources. Though the opposition from CPM have gone away yet there are a few allay would oppose full divestment. So perhaps Government would be able to divest PSU share to some extent where by control would remain with the Government. It appears except for general public and private investors every one likes that the control remains with the Government only. Neither Bur crates wants to loose control on the enterprises no employees feel secured with large scale divestment.

Other important steps perhaps would be to relax the policy on foreign investment inflows. This would be perhaps possible except in high end retail sector. Investment by foreign University would be helpful and this time perhaps such act could be managed. Tax reform would be other important steps the Government will surely aim at. The GST has to be in place by April, 1 next year; the ultimate objective would be have a unifo0rm value added tax of around 16% as in most western countries.. The increased public investment in infrastructure would have to be made incase the rate of growth has to go up. The focus will have to be on railways, power, highways, ports airports and rural telecom network. This would be the testing ground for the government. The success of the scheme might kick start the growth rate above 8% which now looks impossible.

The passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill within 100 days would be a tall order. The intention of the government is clear with even CPM agreeing to the proposal but whether Government would be able to muster two third majorities? It seems impossible with decent from Bihar & UP Lobby. There is large number of other male chauvinists who would like to kill the issue. Yet chances are much brighter than before with euphoria of women emancipation spirit of late. The National Mission on Empowerment of women and the increased numbers of women in central Government job would surely be coming in. It would be done. Only thing ladies from Assam must get ready to jump on to the new opportunity because it would be a life time opportunity for women to get plum posts. It is matter of pride that over the last few year a brand image of ladies from north east have emerged in the country compared to the ladies belonging to Rajasthan, UP and Bihar . The Assamese ladies are sought in private sector jobs much more than people from even Bengal . This is a matter of great pride. The constitutional amendment for 50% women’s reservation in panchayats and municipalities would be an easier proposal to implement than for parliaments.

The setting up of the National Council for Higher education (NCHE) is a very important proposal and it must be done. But there would be high opposition from the Bur crates itself from UGC; All Indian Council for Technical Education .The Medical Council etc. may oppose formation of the national Council of Human Resource in Health. It would be a tough job but perhaps ultimately the government will sail through passing of legislation.

The Road map for judicial reform is envisaged. It is an excellent proposal. But a model public services law, committing key officials in education, health and rural development to their duties to be drawn in consultation with states would be unlikely to be achieving within 100 days.

The Government deserves kudos surely for it has conceptualize the vision for implementation, it would be on the people who represent “Aam Admi” how they steer clear the impediments. We feel if there is sincere will a way would be found out to implement the new deal that was promised though the inaugural speech of the President of India ...


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