true potential

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Mar 2018 11:53:08

Nakshatra Magha 23H 45M

Moon Simha (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Falgun Shukla Tithi Chaturdashi 08H 55M
then Pournima 30H 18M; Holi Pournima
Bhadra starts 08H 55M, ends 19H 35M
Muslim Jamadilakhar 12th Hijree 1439

UNION Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley is totally right in asserting that Indian economy has a potential to attain a growth-rate of 7% or 8%, the evidence of which has been surfacing time and again in the past four years. The most critical of evidence is the Government’s willingness to take tough decisions even if those are likely to lead to some or the other political trouble. The world has acknowledged this as a very right attitude of the Government that is trying to install a self-correcting mechanism in the economic infrastructure. Mr. Jaitley’s stress is on this aspect that would serve the nation’s economic interest in the long run in the best possible manner.

The latest evidence to the fore is the fraud that took place in the Punjab National Bank (PNB). The extent and depth of the fraud is increasing every passing day and the Government is making an all-out effort to tighten the noose around the necks of all perpetrators, no matter their individual status. The political dust that the Opposition is trying to kick up around the PNB fraud apart, it is clear that the fraud took place during the previous regime and nothing was done to expose it or to curb it. The action began only a couple of months ago and good results are pouring out. There are reasons to believe that the PNB fraud burst out in the open because of the official effort to install self-correcting mechanisms in right places.
The PNB fraud also illustrates that the best way forward to attain a higher growth rate is to end corruption in the system. Until now, the regulators often applied symptomatic methods to curb corruption. Now, the trend has changed. The direction of the effort is to combat systemic corruption. It is this aspect that Mr. Jaitley refers to as self-correcting mechanism. For, when the combat is pushed down to systemic level, all nooks and corners where the demon hides, are covered.

If this regime is continued relentlessly, then the economy would naturally attain an intrinsic potential to grow faster and rise higher in attainment of the nation’s fuller growth-potential. It is obvious that Mr. Jaitley is harping very accurately on this very point. Club it with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s statement that Indian economy is among the most open in the world, and the picture gets more complete.

The most ugly characteristic of the Indian economy in the past few decades was its reluctance to expose fraud. For, the rulers believed in the Goebbelsian method of hiding the truth and splashing falsehood for public consumption. Scandals got exposed from time to time, but only through non-official whistle-blowing. This trend caught the rulers’ fancy for decades. But in the past four years, whatever is happening is an integral part of the overall reforms process put in motion by the Government consciously and conscientiously. If this regime continues, the enhanced growth-rate of 7% or 8% could be possible within the national reach.

The ball-game is not easy, of course. Yet, the world is recognising Prime Minister Mr. Modi’s ability to deliver the promised steps. Every rating agency is, therefore, hiking Indian tally almost in a clock-like regularity, the latest one being Moody’s, whose experts believe that a healthy growth-rate of 7.6 % is possible for India’s economic machine that the Government is keeping in a well-oiled condition. Political Opposition might have its own refrain to harp, but factually, the Government is trying its best to put in place a self-correcting regulatory mechanism so that frauds do not get concealed from public view. This openness is going to be Indian economy’s actual strength in the coming times. That’s what Mr. Jaitley is talking about.