Friday, May 08, 2015

Why Narendra Modi should be blamed!!
Photo: Brainbridge Island
I understand this is an unusual tag-line to start any discussion, but there is no escape either from the reality. It is true that Narendra Modi is honest and hard-working, but sometimes, these two factors are alone not able to lift a sagging economy like the present day India. 

The Narendra Modi's biggest drawback is that he overlooked the carry-forward problems of the economy, while delving around newer and newer territories, just to get publicity. This is abysmally a wrong idea, which the Modi-team has been peddling along, since a long time. The result: there is still a lack of demand while the inflation is coming down; which means we are approaching towards a classic DEFLATION TRAP. 

If we are looking at some of the ailing sectors, like Gems and Jewelry, Infrastructure (including steel, power, real estate, etc), Railways, etc, we will find that we are back to square one. Nothing much has improved during the last 9-10 months. It seems the government does not want to touch these sector, but is more interested in creating HEADLINES like passing of the GST, FDI in Insurance,  FDI in Railways, etc, etc. 

In an interesting development, today, The Economic Times  carried the headlines: 
"Industry wrong in criticizing Modi govt for its woes: KV Kamath".
But we know him since the days of ICICI Bank. He is always over-optimistic and pro-government. Hence his rhetoric should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Now coming to the sectors let us take a look at the Modi-government's paradoxes: 
i) The FMO is still dilly-dallying in putting import curbs for the steel sector, as the production becomes unviable for many small players. This is a nagging problem since a long time, but it seems the Finance Minister has some interest for the importers. Don't know the reasons. 

ii) The Gems and Jewelry space is suffering since P Chidambarm was the FM of this great country. It was hoped that after the NDA government came to office it would alleviate the problems of the sector, especially the artisans who are leading a very pitiable (miserable) life, as the government continues to put import restriction on Gold. 

iii) To boost the infrastructure, Modi government unsuccessfully tried to pass, the land reform bill and the end result is still zero. The bill it seems has been placed in cold storage, thinking of vote bank, as the RSS had earlier given a soft warning regarding the passage of such a bill, having negative impact among the electrortes. 

iv) Regarding intelligence and experience of Narendra Modi, in larger canvass, it would be better if we do not touch this topic at all. Many top analysts are of the view that most of the much hyped projects of Narendra Modi looks good only on paper, like Communist Doctrines; but remains practically unimplementable. Just look at the "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: which was launched with much fanfare, with Bollywood personalities taking the broom, but on ground nothing much has improved. You would still find people spitting here and there, and the roads (including  the Pune-Mumbai super-highway) littered with Pan and Ghutka stains. Do you want to say, that the commuters in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai are not culturally trained? But the truth stares everyone on the face.  

Forget about the Thane district, just look at the Mumbai itself---there is nothing much to be seen, as far as the cleanliness of the roads are concerned. It is as usual as we had during the UPA rule. The point is that: unless the basic character of human beings change, just taking a broom and cleaning the nearby drains, will not make much sense. Though the Modi-government has introduced cess for this "Swachch Bharat Programme", but baby is still-born, till now

v) Narendra Modi is introducing, all sorts of insurance policies for the common man, the intention is good. But in today's world is Rs.2 lakhs sufficient, after the death of anyone? The policies are plain-vanilla, without much ground-work. Therefore, these programmes are mere gimmicks rather than serving any useful purpose for anyone. Moreover, there is hardly any worthwhile social security for the old, except some sprinklings here and there. 

I can go on and on, in this subject, but I feel, most of you who thought that Narendra Modi, would dispel the gloom and doom, has been utterly disappointed. I have said time and again, that those things which require, intelligence and experience cannot be solved by mere hard work and labour. The transportation issue of Kolkata in 1980s was not solved by putting more buses and taxis on the road, but by the introduction of underground Metro Railways. The Indian Army might have 1000s of hard-working soldiers, but there is only general to guide them. If the leader is not good, there is hardly any chance of winning any battle. 

Therefore, the bottomline is that: unless we have an intelligent Prime Minister and a professional Finance Minister, this economy is hardly to gather steam. steam in the near future. We might move sideways for some days, again to fall back. It perhaps only in India, that a person who have never been an MP (forget about becoming Union Minister), in the past directly become the Prime of the country. What more can be said about this irony....!!
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