Monday, March 30, 2009

A report card on UPA governance

It is election time once again in India...once in every five years (or sometimes even earlier) this festival of democracy is marked by the customary boisterous and cacophonic rantings and ramblings of our netas...the opposition accusses the government of not doing enough...the government picks up dirt on the charges, whipping up communal sentiments, Tammny hall politics at its best, caste appeasement and what not...

But wait a minute, in the midst of this mindless cacophony, did we miss out something? of course we did. We forgot to evaluate the performance of government. Or to phrase it more elegantly, what public policy changes did the government usher(or fail to usher) in the last five years? in India, public memory is short (in fact way too short) (one example: Lalu is no more the Fodder-tainted Bihar CM, now he adorns the hat of modern management guru responsible for Railways; transformation) So i thought it would be a good thing to recapitulate and list the successes and failures of UPA government's. (for brevity sake let us limit to top five in the list)

I really doubt many would share a similar sentiment. At least the following list would give an idea on what the public agenda was during the past five years.

  • NREGA: National Rural employment Guarantee act: this phenomenal piece of legalisation ensured credit access to millions of rural poor in India. It poverty alleviation objectives however remains to be tested. One biggest drawback of this lack of tangible assets creation in rural areas.
  • JNURRM: Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission: One more of the Gandhi family named schemes. an out lay of 50,00cr., its India's biggest attempt to inject funds into widely needed urban infrastructure. It covers only 60 major cities, and the total outlay is no where near what India needs.
  • Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Co-operation: after so much hue and cry this act was passed. The utility remains to be tested. expectations are high on this act.
  • Civil aviation boom and airport modernisation: Who would have thought of aam aadmi travelling in a aeroplane prior to Praful Patel's entry? The phenomenal growth in civil aviation is worthy of emulation. But unfortunately airport modernization is not catching up with it. Maybe a bit more impetus on airport modernation would have earned Prafulji an A+
  • Prudent macro-economic management. Chidambaram's policies kept up the pace of economic momentum. RBI's regulation prevented the gloabl meltdown from spoiling the Indian dream. kudos to Chidambaram and RBI . GDP growth was consitently above eight percent for the last five years. this is an feat which no FM in independent India can boast of.
    Top five failures on the next blog.

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