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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Divisive politics

Thursday, 30 November 2017 11:56
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Rating of India's investment climate and ease of doing business by the international agencies at a time, when economic slowdown is pinching every pocket in the country, do not appear to be realistic. The rating in both the sectors also does not reflect the ground realties as neither the investment from foreign institutions has improved over the past three years nor the attraction for the foreign investors has gone up during this period in any of the critical areas in India. Moreover, the former defence minister Arun Shourie's likening of these ratings to 'schoolboy reports' could have come at a better time. His contention that such ratings should not be taken seriously by the economic experts in the country hold good for the reason that the government is harping on increasing the scalability of Indian economic situation by such international agencies. The post-demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation economic situation is worrying everybody from the corporate houses, barring a few of them, to common masses in view of the slowdown and crushing blow to the rural and agriculture economy. Both the sectors are keys to economic growth of the country, which involves almost two-third of the country's population. This is also true in the wake of the assessments about the economic experts of the present government as lacking 'attention span' for economic reforms, which are like running a marathon race, which requires not only endurance but also patience in accomplishing the task. This is similar to the situation when majority of the politicians owing their allegiance to right wing thought process besides believing in totalitarian regime for carrying out the long haul economic reforms keeping in view the economic conditions of the country and interests of the common masses. The demonetisation and GST-regime, touted as 'one nation, one tax' norm have only amounted to 'loot of public and theft of their pockets' when the situation was not ripe for carrying out any of these operations by the rulers of the present day. Both the steps of the present government have miserably failed in curbing black money, bringing black money from the bank accounts in foreign banks and providing succour to the people. In fact, both the actions of the government have taken away the financial autonomy of the individuals in the country. Apart from this, the youth of the country are going away from the policies of the government because of its utter failure to deliver on development plank for which prime minister Narendra Modi got support before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The promise of generating one-crore job opportunities every year is also nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, unemployment has increased manifold during the past three and a half years due to demonetisation and GST implementation. The economic growth has also dropped by more than half after these two actions of the central government. The concentration on higher government spending to push economic growth has also miserably failed in bearing the desired results since last year. The revision of pay scales of the government employees has had a limited impact on the economic well-being of the country. The construction sector has failed to improve and deliver on the ground because the food inflation has pinched the pockets of everybody. This is happening despite the government's claims that overall inflation is low and well under control. Keeping in view these factors, there has been a description of the BJP leaders as birds of same feather and 'one-trick horse', who believe that Hindu-Muslim conflict will play a dominant role in the next parliamentary elections and cashing in on the same sentiment of the people. But having this belief exposed in the public, the right wing leaders might be working on some other tricks to register a win in the next elections besides those that are underway in different states of the country. This is the main reason why these leaders want to fool the people into believing that whatever they are doing will be acceptable to the common masses all the time. For these very reasons, there is call for opposition unity and putting up a new agenda based on inclusive development and equitable distribution of resources against the divisive politics of the right wing party. Only time will tell how opposition unity will play its important part against the divisive politics of the current regime in the days and week to come.

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