Friday, April 23, 2021

Developmental policy

We have many sectors that demand immediate attention. We have an ailing health care, underdeveloped tourism and hospitality sector as well as an obsolete education system. And uplifting them will be uplifting the whole society. Development is the key to win the hearts of the people of the state. We have to take care of the major sectorial development which involves both tangible and intangible aspects. However, history of the state is testimony that institutionalized corruption is the biggest impediment in the way. No regime was successful previously in curbing unbridled corruption and it continues till date. This is the main vein to be cauterized if development has to take roots. With corruption gaining ground, no progress can be thought of. In the sectorial arena, the human and infrastructural development asks for attention. In the tangible factor development, power is main developmental factor. It has to be taken seriously by the government as the state is deficient in power despite huge potential of hydroelectricity. But we have not seen any road map from the government in this sector over the years. Successive regimes have failed to lessen the agony of the state in this sector. This sector is pivotal for major boost of the state economy by way of boosting the social and industrial levers. T&D loss and distribution options also demand immediate attention. In fact the Fifteenth Finance Commission Report has painted a grim picture of the power sector in the state. As per the report, the state has reported high AT&C losses in its memorandum, while receipt-expenditure gap in the power sector is widening. The commission has suggested the state to take appropriate action at the earliest so that its power sector can work on sound commercial and economic principles. Measures like pre-paid metering/smart metering, feeder segregation, and drive against power theft need to be taken up immediately to reduce the burden of losses and protect against fiscal risk, the Fifteenth Finance Commission recommended. And what about the health sector! Comparing this sector with contemporary health care system, the state has not been able to keep pace with the modern developments in the health sphere. This is despite the fact that we have competent and skilled human infrastructure available in the state. It can be ascribed to failure of a system which didn’t have a comprehensive health policy. We must not forget that as society develops so does healthcare. So it’s the paramount duty of the government to take adequate measures so that this sector is revived to the fullest. Similarly the tourism and hospitality industry is widely untapped because of inefficient and fragile infrastructure. Among others, there are no five star hotels in the state to satisfy the needs of the tourists and businessmen. The industrial sector is at a low ebb. Until the state come up with a strong base for providing goods and services indigenously, it cannot guard this sector of vital importance. Then there are many more sectors to be pondered over to ensure smooth development in the state. The state can fare better, if it switches over to deregulation and enhanced accountability. Encourage entrepreneurship and allow private participation – which is wanting. This can be achieved only, if we have necessary and required skills, domain knowledge, expertise and intellect. We need more training institutions, courses in demand (technical and non-technical), efficient and effective management and administration. Do other states in India have monopoly over doing business and its creation? Can’t we produce business leaders like the other states who earned a name at international level? Can’t we establish corporations like others? We have intelligent youth with potential and caliber to take up any job under any circumstances. All they need is guidance. We can create business by exploiting the states wide and large resources to enhance our economy, reduce the burgeoning unemployment, redress the state’s difficulties and problems, uplift poor sections of the society and largely improve the life standards of the people by and large. Clearly the state administration needs to think out of the box. They have to part with those shoddy policies. That alone can lead us to a better future.