It's time team Modi looked into real issues
Political dust has settled. The new Cabinet of Modi 2.0 is in place.
Political dust has settled. The new Cabinet of Modi 2.0 is in place. Its time for the new government to get into immediate action and focus on the issues that have remained unresolved in the previous term.
The government should not have problem in moving forward at a fast pace since the issues that have been left over are its own making. The government needs to take some quick decisions and resolve all pending issues like the agrarian crisis, making the economy more buoyant, implementing Sab Ka Saath Sab ka Vikas in its true spirit, taking care of the job sector which was a big disappointment in the last term and bringing in social harmony.
One of the biggest criticisms by the Opposition was that the non-fulfilment of the promise of two crore jobs annually. It now remains to be seen how the government would address this issue and prove that "ache din" have arrived or started arriving.
The so-called course correction of economy allegedly resulted in loss of several jobs. What would be the course correction to resolve the unemployment problem is another aspect which the people, particularly the youth, would look forward to.
The BJP government which is now into second consecutive term should jump into action and should not delay finding quick solutions if it wants to sustain the "ache din" which it got as a gift from the people.
According to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy that was put in public domain in January, about 1.1 crore people had lost jobs in 2018 after the GST was rolled out. The average unemployment rate, it was felt, was around seven percent.
As far as agriculture is concerned, most of the governments, including the Central government, are focussing more on welfare measures like announcing direct cash benefit scheme to the farmers and propagating that they have done a great job and patting their own back.
But unfortunately, no one seems to be going deep into the agrarian issues and find a long-term solution. There are several reports and recommendations prepared by specialised institutes like the National Institute of Rural Development.
But they are gathering dust in the libraries. Moreover, unless one really understands the problems at macro and micro level by taking a real study of what the farmer requires, things will never improve.
The suggestions of bureaucrats are not based on ground situation. No one has the time or inclination to delve deep into the real problems region-wise and come up with recommendations.
The Union Cabinet has taken a step forward by deciding to introduce pension scheme for farmers who would get Rs 6,000 per year, pension of Rs 3000 to small businessmen and to extend Kisan scheme to all farmers. But the government should go to the real root cause of agrarian crisis.
Before the Patel Patwari system was abolished, there were people who used to assess the requirements of the farmer before Kharif and Rabi seasons, identify where seed was available etc.
This is not to suggest to re-introduce the system as it has several drawbacks but there should be some system where a real assessment of the soil conditions, water availability, per acre yield etc should be studied and necessary measures should be taken. For that, the involvement of farmers is necessary.
Reverse planning system from village to State or national level may help in resolving the agrarian problems. Statistics show that about 60 percent people are still dependent on agriculture, but this sector is badly ignored.
Even the lawmakers from States do not bother to take such issues to the legislatures or Parliament. They are more interested in accusing each other, creating pandemonium, get the house adjourned and call it a day and hit the headlines.
If the Modi 2.0 can change this trend and ensure that the Parliament sessions become more fruitful, then it would be a real achievement for the Prime Minister and his team.
The major task before the Modi 2.0 team is to plug the loopholes in economy and put it back on track. It is not enough to statistically prove that the GDP growth is high. One has to address all related problems to really make the economy surge forward.
There are several issues pertaining to various States including the residual State of Andhra Pradesh. The Centre had failed to extend necessary financial assistance to the State during the last five years.
If the present economic situation of the Centre is any indication, barring the normal obligatory devolution of funds, it may not be possible to extend a hand holding. The fact is private investment has come down.
Figures in the last few months indicate that there has been fall in automobile sales and all good indicators of consumer demand have come down. The banks too do not appear to be in good health. The non-performing assets have become a big problem and are said to be around Rs 8 trillion.
Similarly, the newly elected State governments particularly like the one in Andhra Pradesh need to ensure that the confidence among industrialists does not get adversely affected.
Stupendous electoral victory should not be used to settle political scores but to take forward the advantage acquired by the State and see that more investments pour in.
There could be many self-styled experts or analysts who may say that we have something called AP State Re-organisation Act 2014 and it is our right to demand and get funds from the Centre, one needs to understand both the Central and State financial situations and take wise decisions. Both the Centre and the State governments need to come out with out of box solutions.
The general thinking among the leaders of political parties which are in power is control the media. But more than that what is important is to have proper control over the party leaders, both MLAs and MPs.
This applies to all political parties. Most of the leaders whether in informal talks or in so-called media debates and discussions and even in Legislatures and Parliament have the habit of shooting off their mouth.
We have seen many incidents where the Assembly or Parliament had to take action against them. It's time all the new teams which have come to power thought on progressive terms and instead of indulging in political vendetta or political rancour in legislatures and Parliament, focus only on issues from village level and come with effective laws to help the common man.
We have had enough of verbal diarrhoea during the long-drawn election campaign. All that should be put on backburner. It may sound idealistic but that should be the reality. Whether it is Modi or for that matter any Chief Minister, rhetoric should be reserved for 2023. For one year from 2023, they can indulge in rhetoric to get back to power.
The Opposition parties too should not be in a hurry to accuse the ruling parties. If this is strictly implemented, there would be no need to impose conditions or restrictions on the media.
The main reason for each ruling party criticising or accusing certain media houses is because political parties have forayed into owning media houses and this has led to intolerance of highest order.
PM Modi, in his address to the newly elected MPs of the ruling dispensation asserted that over the next five years, they have to ensure "sabka vishwas" (trust of all) besides "sabka saath, sabka vikas" (collective efforts, inclusive growth). Sounds music to ears.
But Modi 2.0 should strive to make it a reality. In the last tenure it remained a mere slogan.
Another most important area where the Modi 2.0 has to address is the relationship with Pakistan and cross-border terrorism.
What has been done in the last five years has not helped in reduction in cross-border terrorism. Talks and terror cannot go on simultaneously.