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Vision 2030: Reforms that can make India a developed nation

April 05, 2014 08:25 IST

Vision 2030: Reforms that can make India a developed nation

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Pramod Kumar Srivastava

The next government should create a vision document to build a developed India by 2030, says Pramod Kumar Srivastava. 

Continuing our series on the state of the Indian economy ahead of the general elections.

Part I: From boom to doom: An uphill task to revive the economy

Part II: It will take three years for economic growth to pick up

Part III: 'US economy needs to improve for India to turn around'

Part IV: Reviving the economy: What the next government should do

Part V: 'Policy paralysis in India will continue'

Part VI: 4 ways the new PM can revive the economy

Part VII: 'To revive the economy India must focus on agriculture'

Remember the 2006-2007 era when India’s gross domestic product (GDP) was almost touching double digits. 

There were success stories all around about a rising super power called India, a jewel in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). With those wonderful stories, we thought our golden days had arrived.

We were moving away from poverty and looking forward to a new horizon where India could again regain its past glory.

And above all this materialistic growth, the finest aspect was being able to regain the lost confidence. We were gaining confidence in ourselves, albeit slowly but steadily.

However, during 2008-2009, following the global economic crisis, the growth rate of the Indian economy dropped to 6.7 per cent. We fought back and came out victorious although scathed.

We almost reached the bottom of the pit as we lost a golden opportunity to sustain our position on global canvas which we achieved after a long struggle since 1991.

Low GDP, sliding rupee, high inflation, crashing stock markets, vanishing Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), low foreign direct investment (FDI), scams and then policy paralysis hit the economy hard.

Our economy has been downgraded by various rating agencies.

The growth figures of past years have shown a steady decline. A blame game has started. We are finding faults in each other.

The government which should have taken the proper steps has gone into a deep slumber of complacency.

Opposition parties, which could have played a constructive role, took advantage of the situation for their own petty benefits. Nobody cares for the nation.

Everyone seems to have resigned to its fate. It is time is to take lessons, move boldly and re-shape our destiny.

I am of the strong belief that such problems need to be tackled holistically and with strong determination keeping the long term in the view. 

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Image: India needs to regain its lost glory.
Photographs: Reuters

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We would like to suggest a framework of 10 steps:

The first four steps are like rules of the game. Next four steps are related to planning and execution. Last two steps are for continuous improvement.

Framework for next government

Vision

  • The next government should create a vision document for India. Build a a developed India by year 2030.
  • Create an ambitious stretching target of attaining double digit growth by year 2017.
  • Stretch the target of GDP growth for each year.
  • Each government department, private enterprise, NGOs, and above all each and every citizen should be aspired to contribute towards achieving the milestones.
  • This is the most important step. This is the soul of the whole program. This will give impetus to the program and wok as a guiding source of inspiration for the government and all its 1.2 billion citizens.
  • We need to have a handful of statesman-executioner-leaders.
  • Statesman, who will go beyond the narrow path of politics, position, power and wealth, and inspire the whole nation to move forward, for him the nation, should come first.
  • Executioner, because all these programs need to be implemented with efficiency and speed.
  • Leader, because we need a person who can act as a bridge between various conflicting goals.

Governance

  • Transparency and accountability should be strengthened.
  • Decentralization of power should be done.
  • Rules and regulations should be made simple.

Speed

  • Red tapism should be made a part of history.
  • Quick decision should be the norm.
  • Bureaucratic inertia and fear of taking actions at government level need to be removed.
  • Honest officers should be protected, while unscrupulous should be hauled up.

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Image: India needs to stretch its GDP growth targets.
Photographs: Reuters
Tags: India , GDP

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Co-ordination

  • There should be proper co-ordination among various ministries and different agencies.
  • All organs of government should function in tandem and work towards achieving common goal.
  • These four pillars should act as a guiding principle for economic prosperity.

Thrust Areas

Higher Education: Educated mind is the pillar for the development of the nation. Primary to higher education should be a strong thrust for the government.

Investment in Infrastructure: Road, rail, ports, aviation etc. needs to be improved. Better infrastructure is the foundation of development.

Proper utilisation of natural resources: Natural resources like ores, coals etc. should be utilized in a proper manner.

Energy Reforms
Government should give thrust on non-conventional sources of energy like, solar and wind power. In long run, it will help in reducing burden on Balance of

Payment problem
Conditions of State Electricity Boards need to be improved drastically.

Creation of High Value products and Services
Until we are creating the high value products or services we cannot compete with the developed world. We should start with small scale enterprises. In long term it should be our mission to create organizations like Microsoft, GE, Boeing, Alstom, P&G, and Nestle etc.

Research and Development
Nation should invest in creating culture of   R&D. Through R&D only we can create innovative products and services and can be self-sustained in long terms.

Entrepreneurship
Nation should give a thrust on creating the culture of entrepreneurship. Eco-systems should be created, which motivate the people to work for own, instead of searching a job.  This culture should start from graduation level of students itself.

Development of backward areas
Industries should be set up in backward areas. Areas, which are neglected, should be developed. Otherwise what is happening, all backward areas are remaining backward. 


Tier three cities should be developed
It will help the local educated population in getting job and will help in inclusive development.

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Image: The next government should invest in infrastructure, say experts.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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Reforms/Policies

  • Raise interest rates
  • It will help reducing the gold import and pressure on rupee.
  • Tax laws need to be simplified.
  • FDI in suitable areas should be encouraged.
  • Reforms in security market to be undertaken.
  • Innovation in Agricultural sector is needed. With less input we need to produce more.
  • Goods and Service Tax (GST) should be implemented.
  • FII should be attracted.
  • More autonomy to public sector units to be given
  • Various subsidies should be given on balanced approach
  • Reforms in energy sectors on war footing to be undertaken
  • Pragmatic disinvestment in public sector units to be carried out
  • Skill development of youths to be done to make them employeable

E-governance

  • Computerisation and automation of more and more services should be undertaken
  • Health care programs and facilities should be improved

Supportive Policies

  • We need to have strong domestic law and order in place.
  • Internal and external security of nation should be strengthened.
  • Judicial delays are causing havoc with the economy and overall business sentiments for the domestic as well foreign investors. Speedy disposal of cases is a must for prosperity of the country. Judicial reforms and accountability is very much needed.
  • Proper schemes should be chalked out and implemented for the benefits of Women, child, old and minorities.

Global Watch

  • A constant watch on global happenings related to economy and security concerns should be done.
  • Strong PR programs should be chalked out to create a positive image of the country at the world stage. It attracts the business.
  • Proactive actions need to be taken to counter the economic slowdown in the other parts of the world
  • Cautious approach should be taken while dealing with other countries. 
  • Bring in the best practices from the developed nations and implement within.

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Image: Government should reduce duties on gold imports.
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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Review

  • Rigorous review of all major projects to be done.
  • Reviews should be done on shorter intervals.
  • Third parties should be involved in reviews.


Feedback

  • Strong remedial measures to be taken.
  • Wherever strong actions are required to taken, we need to take and set the example.
  • When project are falling short of expectations, government should even scrap them. Just for political reasons, no project should be allowed to continue.

    Summary

    Making a strong nation requires more than technical skills. It requires leadership. If we get a strong leadership, there is no reason why we cannot become a developed nation.

    All developed nations were created by visionary leaders. The problem is we do not try to be victorious.

    If the aspirations of 1.2 billion people are harnessed properly, there is no goal which is unachievable.

 


Pramod Kumar Srivastava is the Consultant-CEO of PKS Management Consultants


Image: Inorder to become a strong nation, India needs strong leaders.
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters

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