By Gitanjali Maria:
The Indian government has lost precious time by being complacent of major economic and social issues confronting the nation while debating, discussing and arguing about corruption and Lokpal Bill. Though the bill and the issues it relates to are of utmost importance, it should not cause the standstill of all other government machineries. There has been a general opinion of lethargy on the part of the government in addressing issues like inflation, terrorism, impact of the US and Euro crisis on India and so on.
While the RBI has valiantly been trying to curb inflation with whatever tools it has, the government has not responded by supplementing these with monetary and fiscal policies. The situation that confronts India may be a never-given-in-textbook like situation and the government has to come up with creative and radical solutions to solve them. Instead of wasting the expertise and experience of able ministers in coalition politics, it should put to use in proper channels for bring out better policies and practices. The absence of NAC chairperson is clearly visible in the slack in decision making and problem containing.
It is a sad fact that the people voted the UPA government to a second term expecting better reforms and speedy economic development and prosperity. But the inaction of the government is saddening. There has been no major policy implemented or bill passed by the government. There is nothing commendable done on the Pakistan front nor on the domestic naxalite trouble. Corruption and price rise seem to be tumbling out of the hands of the government. Over and above, the credibility of the government has been lost and no amount of projecting Mr.Clean faces can save the government; only solid concrete action is one way to win back trust and confidence of the masses.
With an opposition that is in shambles and busy solving its own internal strife, the task of the rejuvenating the government will be easier for UPA II if it wills. Fast-tracking all the projects that are in the pipeline is one way by which the government can restore its lost image. Formulation of a suitable land acquisition policy, infrastructure creation, electoral and police reforms, job creation etc is the need of the hour.
But completely ignoring Anna Hazare and his team or forcibly trying to shut them up also is a folly as the government has studied from its recent actions. This issue is something that has to be discussed with all the political parties and members of civil society. A committee consisting of a member from all national parties and a few members from the civil society group should come together to reach a consensus that neither bestows huge power on any individual or society nor lets corruption breed.
The Indian economy also needs a reassurance and boost especially after the American and Euro crisis, whose tremors are expected to reach up to the shores of India. Gaining the confidence of industry houses and investors is essential. Increasing FDI and maintaining exports and domestic demand is essential for the wheels of the economy to go on. A certain amount of check on corrupt practices is also essential to restore confidence.
Sometimes good work alone will not bring you rewards, you have to project it well. The UPA II government must have done reasonably well, compared to other governments around the world, in this tumultuous phase the world is going through. But they need to show the people that they are working; or if they are doing silent work, then the output of it should speak loud and clear. These are difficult times for any government and how one manages these situations will help it reap benefits later, in this case in 2014 and the upcoming elections in UP!