What India Inc. Wants From The Next Government

By Sunil Kumar

The endgame in the 2014 Indian elections is drawing near; formations are being made; and strategies planned. The pawns are the usual rag-tag bunch of party sycophants and us; the deciding factor; the people with the maximum power yet the greatest potential to be exploited; the normal citizen(In Kejriwal’ji’s words; the Aam Aadmi).

Ergo, Skepticism is a commodity easily available; so I want to stick to some positive thought; the light of discussion; if that brings about a certain clarity. As time passes; cities change in a progressive time lapse. The city’s commuting has certainly deteriorated; with more people than ever before. And before I get to the island of relative affluence; poverty is visible. The crassness of Mumbai and its hope has been reflected in millions of movies; so I don’t want to stress on this fact.

As the CNBC anchor Latha Venkatesh began with an apt summation of the current situation; the suitably attired honchos made their way onto the podium. Now; personal feeling; after hearing many of these discussions; there is a certain degree of uniformity I’ve come to expect from such gatherings. Despite the usual; there were certainly some new points that came out from the panelists. One of the points made about the country’s planning needs resonated with me; as he mentioned the amount that needs to be allocated to more basic priorities such as food; education and sanitation; that other people do not seem to mention.

Ajit Ranade from Aditya Birla mentioned sound macroeconomic fundamentals and ease of doing business as some important facts. An article I read recently mentions that our parliament spends 2 crores a day on proceedings; a lot of which as visible is spent in acrimony and mutual recrimination; apart from agitations on countless issues. Another important fact mentioned was decisiveness across the board; not just with one person; as most of our people are usually inclined to believe. This is a very important but elementary point; because when decisiveness rests with people across the board; from the country will justifiably be on a faster track to more holistic growth; in every state.

English: Author: Rohit Patwardhan Uploaded to ...

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The panelists also mentioned that the politicians are usually attracted to the low-hanging fruit; hoodwinking the public and making a quick exit. Reflective somewhat of the country itself; the valid assertion was the “project tiger” approach to manufacturing, in doing business and creating centers of excellence.

Although these newsbytes are bandied about in nearly every forum; the real test of the pudding lies in the eating; actual action. According to the panelists; there are good corporate citizens in the murky grime of the business world. When Latha Venkatesh mentioned that despite lacking the activism in the Indian setup; other countries have managed to get things done, Ranade countered that a vibrant engaged audience is the hallmark of a flourishing democracy. All of this sometimes seems counter-intuitive if our country only manages to weave webs of words; where people subscribe to the brand of infotainment; which is quite addictive.

Nearly all of the industry panelists mentioned the reckless spending on subsidies as not being useful to contain inflation. Correct targeting could be useful; if the demographics are obtained suitably. When I asked the panelists a specific question on other markets apart from the usual North America-Europe axis; Ranade responded that the idea was a good one; but he could not exactly grasp the intent of my query. What I wanted from the panelists was their consensus opinion as an industry group and their expectations from the government in terms of formulating a global policy; which does nothing substantive but announces a “Look East” or “Look hither” policy. Latha Venkatesh mentioned to me that the idea was constructive; and the panelists continued in their deliberations.

The panelists also mentioned that apart from the shifting of political power to the states; which has happened more recently; the critical need was economic independence. This is useful; as each state would then feel the need to showcase its own USP; and result in benefiting our lives in general. In the verbal barrage; another point mentioned was that the investors were looking for a pro-business government that brought with it a certain amount of stability.

Latha Venkatesh seemed to suggest that the country should not be averse to a third-front government; but in my opinion; this would be another fractured enterprise; leading the country to a little more chaos. What happens remains to be seen; but if there is a winner with a clear wide mandate; it will definitely be beneficial to the country. Arvind Kejriwal targeting the high and mighty has brought about a little change; yet the status quo more or less remains similar.

The panelists also mentioned that Chidambaram’s defence that the entire world was in a slowdown; hence the impact on India’s economy was untenable and that the country should get its act together.

With a 1.2 billion population poised to grow further; it makes logical sense that we should grow more than other places to lift more people out of the misery of woeful infrastructure; lack of public amenities, sanitation, bad primary education and abysmal poverty. A social crisis is already brewing; as the much-vaunted concept of “Hindu” fatalism has changed drastically; as a large proportion of the population in South Asia(every country) has been exposed to the greater cross-currents of the world. Explicitly; the television and the internet; if you got my drift.

To sum up; the event mentioned stability, decisiveness and predictability as three important characteristics in the greater game of Indian polity.

Enhanced by Zemanta
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *