It is arrogance and not business in your blood Mr Prime Minister
Mr Prime Minister! Let me admit, I have never been impressed by your high voltage election campaign and larger than life projection of you as messiah against all the problems that plagued the country. Frankly speaking, in my opinion this had just been over-promise that had nothing to do with the turnaround of India’s overall fortunes.
But having said that let me also admit that I was never as much sure about your non-performance as I am convinced today. Intellectual bankruptcy is what I had in mind when you took over the chair of Prime Minister. In less than two years time you made me and the nation convinced that there is more to just intellectual bankruptcy. Your style of governance can at best be called ‘Ignorance with Arrogance’. According to you, everything is happening Pehli Baar (First Time), forget about your imaginative knowledge of history, geography, economics and what not!
I wish to remind you that your scorecard has always been questionable even in your heartland Gujarat that falls short of national average, forget expectations, on all social indicators. However, the number game of economic development (GDP and Per Capita Income, as they say) that may not be the real indicator of prosperity is what helped you to be seen as ‘Man with Development’.
Sadly, even in this number game you failed your government and the nation when been given the bigger responsibility. Your economic performance, or rather lack of it, is proving to be your nemesis now. Today, you look like a jaded man looking clueless and wants more to entertain to divert the attention than perform on ground.
Probably you are forgetting the fact that the mandate that you have got is largely due to the aspiration-driven young India which somehow got befooled by your good oratory skills. The disillusionment is all too visible today Mr Modi.
When you came to power a large section of critics were concerned that you might function as the CEO than Prime Minister. What it meant was that in your quest for economic reforms you might end up compromising the social welfare of public at large. In two years time, you are neither here nor there – economic performance is at its worst and you sacrificed the social welfare policies of the previous government.
This just gives the impression that you are working at the behest of your corporate fund managers – the selected industrialists. Ironically, they have hired a very bad job manager to execute their business plans as well.
Today, when your government is all set to present its third Union Budget, the nation is wondering whether it is another photo-op or selfie session where fresh round of lofty ideas will be floated. I take this opportunity to remind you Mr Prime Minister that many, rather I should say most, of the lofty proposals being floated in the previous two Union Budgets are yet to see the light of the day.
A Union Budget is not just about making non-achievable claims sir! Across the world the Budget session is followed by hard work where the specifics are rolled out to implement what has been announced in the Budget. Ironically you have been two busy in making election speeches and criticising the opposition parties on your foreign tours to think beyond making tall and lofty promises.
The list of your economic failures is too long gentleman! FDI is less than what you promised or the country has the capacity to attract. Disinvestment remained much lower than target; converting post office to bank a non-starter; and then your black money scheme could get anything but black money.
Looking at it from the worst benchmark today, even the I K Gujaral Government’s voluntary disclosure of black money scheme could see the recovery of Rs. 33697 crore black money (with taxes worth Rs. 10,000 crore been collected) as against your much-publicised 90-day scheme that could see only Rs. 3770 crore.
Similarly, you failed to win the trust of the nation to be an active participant in the gold monetization scheme. Governance is not as simple as selfie session and ribbon-cutting on the works done by the previous government sir.
Worse of all, your government for the first time misled the nation on the performance of the economy with fake GDP growth figure; something that raised the concerns of even the economist in RBI Governor. I know you are very fond of championing ‘My Government and For the First Time’ rhetoric but please do it for all the right reasons sir.
Last, but not the least, the nation is very disturbed today with the way you are repeatedly hiking the Excise Duty on crude oil to make sure that the benefits of falling oil prices globally should not reach to the common man. They are your voters sir and you cannot penalize them for making the mistake of casting votes on aspirations.
This country has successfully weathered the impact of highest ever crude prices ($156 per barrel) under an eminent economist Manmohan Singh. Why is it such a crude joke by your government that the Indians are finding it hard to weather the impact of lowest ever crude prices ($27 per barrel)?
At a time when the cost of petro prices are lower than even a packaged water bottle, India stands out as the only country where the taxes on petro products are higher than its actual price in an open market. Over and above that you claim there is business in your blood. No Mr Prime Minister! This is not business. You don’t have business but arrogance in your blood.
A journalist wondering about economic sense & nonsense