Future directions - economic policies, Microeconomics

FUTURE DIRECTIONS:

It is often said that the difficult things are the beautiful things, and if they are as vital for healthy national development as an economy, society and polity purged of the scourge of the dirty economy, the difficult things are really a challenge worth grabbing. But who would take up this challenge and how? Clearly the ordinary citizens of the country. They are paying the price of the debilitated state under the weight of the massive black economy and distorted policy processes and outcomes. It is these masses who have to make use of the democratic space consisting of the institutions, parties, freedoms and the opportunities afforded by the democratic plans, policies and programmes adopted ostensibly for the common citizen under the political compulsion of mobilising voters' support (howsoever token their size compared to the bounties bestowed by the state on the better-off sections), who have to rise like one person to assert their democratic rights and freedoms for tilting the system in their favour. A new concept, theory, strategy and policy framework of development are needed. These are long-term and uncertain tasks, depending on mega socio-economic factors of both the national and global politics. In the short-run and a partial relief, a number of steps can reduce the severity, spread and size of the black economy by means of a number of policy, institutional, administrative and other policy and programmatic measures. An essential precondition for effective intervention by the people is that they must have at least a minimum of livelihood adequacy and security. This is essential for building up in a democratic society with robust political and civil society institutions their capacity and willingness to work for a clean and just social order. The existing order and its beneficiaries are the fountain head of the black economy and perversion of policy processes. Hence, it is natural that beyond a point they would not like the policies which strike at the very roots of the underground economy and their capacity to manipulate the policies away from the general interest and towards their group, class and/or personal interests. Hence, a political framework which guarantees the livelihood adequacy and security, as seems to be on the horizon with the enactment of the Employment Guarantee law by the United Progressive Government at the center, may be treated as a positive sign for strengthening the anti-black economy forces in the economy. Then, methods of checkmating benami, that is fictitious names transactions and fictitious transactions, is also another major prerequisite for dealing some effective blows against the black money phenomenon. The secrecy of public decision-making and totally unwarranted protection available to Government functionaries against public scrutiny are also factors which must be curbed in order to reduce corruption and increase public accountability and transparency in public affairs. The prevailing bad money dominated politics and politicians are an active agency distorting the policy processes from the declared lofty objectives and for amassing illegal wealth. Democratisation of political parties and electoral reforms in order to break the unholy nexus between politicians, corrupt business persons, bureaucrats and the criminal mafia gangs can go a long way in moving towards a clean democratic society. Then a series of changes in our planning, policies, administration and methods of policy and programme implementation are essential for effective and honest policies. Democracy and peoples' own efforts are the means which may be slow, difficult, at times frustrating, but they do produce overtime desirable outcomes. There is every reason to hope that over time India would move towards a genuine, honest pro-people state, economy and society. Then the black economy and policy perversions would become marginal instances of deviant behaviour, unable to change the basic course and character of system. 

Posted Date: 11/10/2012 5:24:48 AM | Location : United States







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