faster pace!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Oct 2017 11:33:25

UNION Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has said it right that from now on, India needs to grow at a faster pace. He has insisted rightly that the Government enjoys popular support for its reforms activity despite the difficulties in implementation, for example, of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The people appreciate what the Government is doing, but have bigger expectations, he has said, rightly acknowledging the criticality of growing at a faster pace. 

This is really a critical issue. The natural question, then, is: How does India achieve a faster pace of growth? How does India combat its own roadblocks so that its growth engine operates smoothly and at a faster pace?
Answers to this questions are both, simple as well as complex. They are simple because everybody knows the answers. And complex because everybody also knows the high degrees of difficulties involved in implementation of the reforms agenda.

One of the most complex issues is sprucing up governance in tune with the reforms process and economic agenda. Another challenge is to combat corruption which is still rampant in many places. The third issue is to exert appropriate political will to push the national agenda through. And the final issue is to ensure appropriate and enthusiastic public participation in the national agenda. A fine combination of all these four would set the pace right and push the developmental process.

This means, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi will have to lead this campaign personally, driving the government, the bureaucracy, and the people hard to set in motion the implementation process at a faster pace. A fresh initiative will have to be undertaken so that the nation gets into the right mental frame.

This may not be difficult per se, but may not easy either. For, a lot of things may get stuck at the roadblock of corruption. There is no doubt that corruption has been brought down to a great extent. Yet, what is still lingering is big enough to upset the people whose experience shows that things are still difficult for the common man.

There is a popular willingness to make sacrifices for the nation. Yet the people also have a few questions to ask, including the one as regards the unwillingness of the bureaucracy to change its corrupt and inept ways. If the bureaucracy and the administration are not willing to change their ways, then how can a developmental agenda be pushed at a faster pace only on the strength of the people who are outsiders to administration?

The only appropriate answer to this poser from the people is to spruce up the bureaucratic and administrative processes so that the common people get immediate response to their needs and demands. This will be a massive, nationwide exercise involving entire strength of people on Government employ. It will also involve the entire range of political leadership from Parliament to Panchayat Raj. And finally, it will involve the entire population whose members will have to shun the path of short cuts (which breeds corruption) and get engaged in the right conduct.

In other words, India will have to start unleashing a revolution of sorts on a multi-lateral platform of development involving public policy, public funding, and public participation in the developmental dream.

What a tremendous energy will all this generate! Even thinking about the possibility makes us sit up in anxious anticipation and excitement. In order to make things happen, the people will have to start preparing themselves to welcome an altogether new era in which positive people’s action and assertive governance will be the core values of the national drive.