Cover Story: The Tasks Ahead
Recommendations by Ekatma Prabodhan Mandal
Ekatma Prabodh Mandal through its draft paper on ‘Bharat Ka Abhyuday Perspective’ has made short term and long term recommendations to the government. Some of the key short term recommendations pertaining to the budgetary policy are as follows:
The policy guidelines for Rebuilding-Nation efforts, national goals and important action aspects come out of national philosophy. Formulation of a national plan, implementation strategy and specific action programmes must be in the light of these policy guidelines to obtain best results in tune with the national ethos.
BUDGET – Immediate Tasks
Budget must be declared three months in advance so that it can be properly studied. Government retains right to impose certain actions with immediate effect but these should be minimised.
1. Stemming Price Rise
Inflation is the most regressive tax crushing common people since their incomes do not increase with price rise. Hence, inter alia, the following action should be initiated:
- Give RBI a mandate to control the inflation within a band. Such action itself will reduce inflation expectation
- Reduce government deficits particularly revenue deficits
- Aim for surplus in Current Account by adjusting discretionary imports with suitable changes in levies or bans, if essential
- Introduce free trade of agricultural commodies with exceptions, checks and balances
- Selectively release food grains from FCI godowns in the open market to damp down inflation
2. Accelerating Growth
Without growth the disadvantaged section of the population cannot look forward to opportunities to better their lot. New government will have to, among others, act on the following:
- Expeditiously complete the partially complete projects of national importance
- Projects waiting for environmental clearance must be cleared or rejected within 3 months.
- Review all sick PSUs and either close them down or sell unless they serve a security or such crucial purpose.
- Announce intentions to set up electronic chip and gadget industries to generate revenue of Rs 5 lakh crore in 5 years.
- Float global tenders for setting up electronic industries in SEZs with 100% exports.
- Introduce new promotion agency and scheme for agro-processing near production centres in rural areas.
- Announce drastic reduction in subsidies with ameliorating measure for disadvantaged section of population hit hard by this.
- Introduce SINGLE-WINDOW clearances for SSIs within 3 months, for medium sized industries in 9 months.
3. Boosting Employment
- Introduce “National Apprentice Scheme” in consultation with industry associations to absorb young aspirants for varying periods of on-job-training with stipends as per the work skill.
- Hold discussions with industry to promote “Family enterprises” as main sources for them
Be positive indicator for defence
The Indian Armed Forces have pinned a lot of hopes on the new government for address of the problems that they are facing.