oppn parties NITI Aayog Should Drive Policy Change

News Snippets

  • Government planning a loan mela to cover 400 districts in two phases
  • PM Modi says Kashmiris need a hug from all Indians
  • NPA tag will not be put on any MSME till March 20
  • Government likely to announce another economic stimulus package today ahead of the GST Council meet in Goa
  • Air Marshall RKS Bhadauria, slated to retire just a few days from now, to be the next chief of IAF
  • PM Modi slams politicians from his own party who are making irresponsible statements on the Ayodhya case and tells them to wait for the Supreme Court order
  • Telecom panel says resident welfare associations (RWA) cannot give monopoly access to any one service provider and infrastructure in public spaces and residential complexes will have to be shared by all
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, tells him there is no need for an NRC in Bengal
  • After 14 days, there is no hope left for reviving Vikram, the moon lander
  • CBI teams search for elusive Rajeev Kumar
  • Union minister Babul Supriyo assaulted at Jadavpur University
  • West Bengal governor's convoy not allowed to enter Jadavpur University following a blockade by Left students' union
  • ABVP supporters create ruckus at Jadavpur University in Kolkata
  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
Government announces cuts in corporate income tax, stock markets welcome the decision with a massive jump
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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.