The general elections have begun and, according to various media reports, a good number of politicians seeking our votes have criminal records or have been directly or indirectly involved in some anti-social activities. Then, a huge number of them are using unacceptable words in their rallies and speeches. If one is threatening to kill the other, the other is calling the third person as unpatriotic, and the third one is calling the fourth one as a buffoon and so on. It seems there is no place for decency in our great country. Yes, one must exercise the right to vote, but what if none of the candidates are worth voting for The good thing is that, for the first time in a general election, we now have the None Of The Above (NOTA) option. If the voters truly and honestly exercise their voting rights, and if we actually get a lot of NOTA clicks, the political parties must ponder over what is really wrong with their candidates, and then agencies such as the Election Commission and the judiciary must step in to reform our electoral process. That would be a true reform.
What the next govt must do
With less than two months for a new government to take charge, lots of advices are pouring in on what the new government should or should not do. But it will depend on the leader of the government and policies the government decides. The main question may be whether we may be going in the line of what is called crony capitalism or continue in the line of a welfare state model In his column Indicting India Inc (FE, April 2), Sunil Jain has pointed out that the system of giving bank licences, allotting land etc should go. And in his column Govt must let go of its hold on PSBs, K Vaidyanathan has suggested for privatisation or change in design for banks. But experience has shown that privatisation is not the answer, for there arises more scams and fraud. At the same time, a restructuring is needed. And issuing new licences for Banks could create competition and welcome. The Sahara case, Lee Kun-hee case, etc impresses the need for better control. The main setback in our system is the absence of accountability and fixing responsibility for any scam and everything is put on system failure. The first thing any government should do may be to reform this. But will it happen
This refers to the news story Govt must let go of its hold on PSBs (FE, April 2). It is good the average depositor does not know the under-capitalisation of public sector banks (PSBs). Today, the average depositor is carried away by the government ownership tag that if these banks fail, it is equivalent to the bankruptcy of the government. But privatisation is beset with practical difficulties posed by the labour front. The new government that takes over in May should take a call on the new governance structure. The banking regulator (RBI) has released a detailed blueprint for revamping the PSBs, in which it has asked the new government in Delhi to implement the same. It must be noted that the UPA government wrote off massive farm loans a few years ago, and such a step certainly hurts the PSBs. Now, serious steps are needed to revamp the PSBs, and we expect the new government will take the required steps.