It is true that with rise in responsibilities, productivity may decline. But, when we are concerned about a country, wherein people are anxiously waiting for real transformations, productivity can never be compromised. Mr. Modi has undoubtedly proven his administrative capabilities while ruling the state of Gujarat, wherein even the massive earthquake and the communal riots could not hold the pace of development.And then was the verdict of the nation in the favor of a person who promised for good days for all. While no one for sure can challenge the caliber of the PM of India; I feel a bit worried with a few roll-back measures.
Roll-back of hiked rail fares for local commuters, three months push for food security, and deferred gas price increase are not the propositions for which Mr. Modi has been known for in the past. Remember the rise in the power tariffs in the state of Gujarat in the initial months of Modi’s governance, which though was a detested move; however had paid unexpectedlywell in the subsequent years. Or for that matter recall the near-ban on liquor in Gujarat, which now is being acclaimed by all.This was the real-Modi, fearless and progressive, unmoved by any pressure or adverse circumstances- Moves that turned ‘Gujarat’ to ‘Vibrant Gujarat’.
With clear majority in the center and with Mr. Modi as the strategic ruler, the BJP-led union government is expected to overlook what the rivals or even the NDA-constituents criticize, and to go for hard decisions, which may appear unpopular in the short-run, however, can add to the country’s GDP in the long-run. For instance, the Fertilizer Minister, Mr. Ananth Kumar has recently ruled out any hike in the price of urea, even though the subsidy on fertilizers has been adding to the burden of the government. Vital to note, the Fertilizer Association of India has estimated that subsidy burden with respect to fertilizers is likely to cross INR 100000 crore.
Another noticeable event is the deferred enactment of the Food Security Law by a quarter. The announcement came just a day after the government decided to postpone the hike in gas prices by three months. In the same context, it should also be considered by the union government that the food subsidy bill is likely to touch INR 115000 crore in the prevailing fiscal year as compared to INR 92000 crore in 2013-14. Next is the partial rollback of rail fares probably due to the intervention of the Shiv Sena. The union government overlooked the fact that of 25 million passengers every day, more than 50 percent are suburban commuters.
Mr. Modi’s words, on the completion of a month for his government, may have armored many of his unlike-Modi moves, but India looks forward to much more. And knowing that this person has all the capacity to deliver, responsibilities have doubled. Mr. Modi has confessed that his government had no ‘honeymoon period’ and hence it appears that he comprehensively appreciates his accountability. The PM will too have to realize that even a trivial roll-back of vital decisions reveal either wrong strategy-formulation at the foremost stage, or the push of external factors on the working of the government. For sure, decisions once taken with utmost will and on valid grounds shall not be reverted unless warranted.
Mr. Modi’s vision and temperament, which prepared everycommon man to witness just the reduction in prices and upsurgein prosperity, now needs quick expansion and application.Conditions are however more tough and harsh, and the Modi-ledgovernment in the initial days has to scuffle with bad monsoon, the Iraq crisis, farmers’ expectations, and the inherited paralyzed economy. And no one appears to swallow the bitter pill of enhanced prices. The best way out will be to disremember the criticism and take hard economic decisions that can pay off in the long-run. ‘Preventive’ governance will have to be overruled by ‘active’ governance.