oppn parties NITI Aayog Should Drive Policy Change

News Snippets

  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
NITI Aayog Should Drive Policy Change

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is wasteful to have a think-tank like Niti Aaayog twiddle its thumb and make inconsequential pronouncements. It was constituted to help transform India. But in these nearly two years, not much is known what it has done in this regard. Hence, PM Modi’s exhortation that it should be the driver of policy change in India is welcome. That India needs “drastic policy change” is apparent to most. 25 years after the first generation reforms, led by Manmohan Singh and P V Narasimha Rao, had begun dismantling the trade barriers and the walls we had created to isolate our economy and transformed the way India did business; there is still a lot of unfinished business that needs to be done. For, every attempt at further reforms has been half-hearted as governments have lacked the political will to go whole hog. This was mainly due to the fact that somehow, reforms became tainted – they were perceived to be pro-rich.

At the very beginning of Modi’s tenure, the Rahul Gandhi jibe of his government being a “suit-boot ki sarkaar” had stopped the NDA government in its track. The government did not want to be seen as pro-rich. That, plus the lack of number in Rajya Sabha. There could be no other explanation for a government widely perceived to be best suited to carry out third generation reforms not having made game changing moves. The government has done a lot to do away with some cobwebs and make doing business in India easier. It has introduced transparency in governance and corruption at the top has vanished. It has created a platform for big ticket reforms. But those few big ticket reforms that could fire the imagination of a new generation of entrepreneurs are still not forthcoming. There is also a lack of talent and thinkers in this government. Hence, prodding the NITI Aayog to be the driver of this change is sensible.

PM Modi has advised the body to come up with a long term plan related to tourism, food, import and exports, technology, use of and identification of untapped natural resources, workforce, procurement, data and alternative sources of energy with focus on solar energy. It cannot be denied that despite a lot of work that has been done in the last two years, the real benefit of the 1991 reforms will come only if third and fourth generation reforms are undertaken without further delay. Once the much delayed GST Bill is passed, the government should, with help and direction from the NITI Aayog, propel the economy by introducing these reforms. Anything lesser would be a betrayal of the massive mandate it had received.