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Reforms under close scrutiny

THE UPA-II government ’s reformative decisions like raising diesel price, capping the number of subsidised cylinders and raising the FDI limit in multi-brand retail to 51% have prodded  all shades of political opinion and all sections of society in a peculiar way. This is how social change gets  engineered.

But the Government must realise that it is not 1991. Given the fluid global environment and a not-so-friendly neighbourhood, it is imperative on the part of decision makers to take suitable steps keeping in mind all the other relevant factors. Policy changes  have the potential to backfire, if the decisions taken are not followed up meaningfully.

By withdrawing from UPA II, Mamata Banerji has articulated a shade of political opinion rooted in the reality of her ‘karambhoomi’.  On the other hand, the Prime Minister has perceived reality from a different angle plus the political objectives to be achieved at different levels.

To sum up, subsides need rationalisation to be effective. More than that, wastage of resource of all types on the part of the government needs to be checked effectively  to give right direction essential to remove the haze from the minds of the common man, which constitutes the major portion of the populace and  is the end user of all policies in practise. His confidence in himself and the system is sine qua non for the country at this stage of development. 



The government has taken a great risk, keeping aside the fear of loosing majority, in the interest of the nation and the people of India. FDI in retail is optional to states, however, it will positively generate growth and employment. The move would extend great help to farmers and  consumers.

More then 85 per cent of the families use 2 LPG cylinders in 2 months, so subsidy on 6 cylinders is a rational decision. Moreover, states have a choice to extend subsidy above 6 cylinders.  

 Because of global slowdown, slow domestic growth, rupee depreciation, hike in crude oil price in international market , high fiscal deficit, decreasing foreign exchange reserve and some other reasons, the government is left with no option but to go in for reforms.

Political leaders must consider benefits to the common man rather to themselves. The reforms shall definitely lead all of us to a better future.



We should trust Dr Manmohan’s economic astuteness and foresight . After all, he had shown a miracle in 1991  with LPG ( Liberalisation, globalisation  and privatisation). FDI will  put  retailers in a proper chain. It will bring  advancement in technology, transportation and storage facilities. By electronic centralised billing, the foreign retailers will pay proper tax to the government unlike local retailers who  always find ways and means to escape or reduce tax. People will be served  with quality products.  



The PM’s address to the nation clearing the air regarding ‘myths’ associated with reforms, left many people confused.  A couple of his statements need further clarification. First, ‘money does not grow on trees’, as a matter of fact the entire Indian populace is trying to make UPA understand the same thing ever since the inflation chart started going upward.

Second, ‘economy would have suffered Rs 30,000 lakh core more loss if diesel prices were not increased. Subsidy is misused by luxury SUV companies’, then why does the government allow zero import duty to such companies who import and assemble such vehicles in India?

Thirdly, ‘LPG costs much more in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mayanmar etc but the government had bearded the burden of subsidy in India’; true but so is the population of these countries undernourished.

Though FDI in retail is good but will its very purpose not be defeated, if the government makes a huge hole in the pockets of millions of people? 



With prices of diesel, oil and cooking gas expected to rise again, one fails to understand how a poor or even a middle class  family will afford a comfortable living.  Is it possible for an average 4-member family to utilise a cylinder for two months? Every time there is a hike in petrol or diesel prices, the prices of daily commodities also increase. The central government should frame a policy to raise the prices of petrol and other related products only once a year. The corporates and the businessmen should keep in mind the interest of the poor citizens and not overcharge or indulge in black marketing.


Will PM undo the wrongs?

The Prime Minister is not right this time, saying that it is time for hard decisions like increasing diesel prices, restricting the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to domestic consumers and opening up gates for FDI. This will have direct and immediate impact on the lower and middle classes of the country which have already been hit badly by inflation and skyrocketing prices due to his government’s policies.

It is high time for hard decisions like bringing back black money from abroad and end tax concessions being given to big corporate houses. The offenders involved in scams like Coalgate, 2G and others should be brought to book. Will the PM take such hard decisions?




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