1. AAPke liye reforms: Arun Jaitley does well to reiterate reforms-jobs link

AAPke liye reforms: Arun Jaitley does well to reiterate reforms-jobs link

FM Arun Jaitley has done well to reiterate that NDA govt is not going to slow down on its reforms drive just because BJP had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of AAP.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 14, 2015 8:29 AM
Arun Jaitley, AAP, BJP, Aam Aadmi Party, Economic reforms

FM Arun Jaitley has done well to reiterate that NDA govt is not going to slow down on its reforms drive just because BJP had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of AAP. (PTI)

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has done well to reiterate the fact that the government is not going to slow down on its reforms drive just because the BJP had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After the BJP lost the elections, several BJP leaders have been seen questioning the wisdom of some of the reforms, especially the ordinance to clean up the UPA’s Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act and the various prohibitions put by it on land acquisition and even private sector purchases.

Also, with more parties emboldened by the BJP’s defeat, another view is that it makes sense for the BJP to go slow on “anti-people” reforms. Doing this would be a bad idea for a variety of reasons. For one, as Jaitley has pointed out, the BJP has done very well in four assembly elections before the Delhi one—a 4:1 score, assuming the Delhi defeat was a reaction to economic reforms, is not something to get worried about. More important, prime minister Narendra Modi was voted precisely because people were fed up of the economic stagnation that led to no jobs and rampant price inflation during the UPA tenure.

Fixing this is what is going to get growth back and given how, whether any party admits to it or not, reforms tend to slow down prior to elections, the last thing the BJP wants to do is to waste this window of opportunity between the Delhi elections and the ones in Bihar, whose Assembly’s term ends  in November.

While the land acquisition ordinance is seen as anti-farmer by some, the fact is that land is required to build factories, roads, office, cities, even for setting up solar power stations. And that land, by and large, is available only with farmers who, given higher wages in industry and services, anyway need to be moved off the land if poverty levels are to come down. No one is in favour of forcible acquisition of land, but if the price is right and farmers are willing to sell their land, why should the process for this be as tedious and time-consuming as it was under LARR? And, in any case, the ordinance promulgated protects the significantly higher levels of compensation.

Similarly, labour law amendments being done by various states are aimed at creating more jobs as compared to the current laws that, with their rigid practices, actually discourage formalisation of the work force. With over half the subsidised foodgrain not even reaching the target audience, it can be no one’s case that leaving this unreformed is in anyone’s interest apart from the grain thieves.

More so since the MSP-driven procurement system, in turn, distorts agriculture markets and drives farmers to produce more wheat and rice and, in the bargain, drives up prices of other farm produce like fruits and vegetables. The list is a much longer one, but the short point is the status quo favours only a small proportion of the population; the majority can benefit only if they get more jobs and if inflation levels come down—neither can be achieved without much higher levels of reform. That’s what voters elected Narendra Modi for.

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  1. J
    joseph
    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:05 am
    "More important, prime minister Narendra Modi was voted precisely because people were fed up of the economic stagnation that led to no jobs and rampant price inflation during the UPA tenure." Winning of AAp doesn't send a good signal. It was a victory of Congress ideology of doles over reforms. Kejriwal promised all kinds of doles(free water, electricity etc.), rakes up emotional issues of statehood (no party loses with such issues, recent example is TRS). It will cause a rethink and i am woried another defeat will be bad for reforms. Only Modi is the one who is talking reforms even if he has been slow.
    Reply
    1. R
      Ramesh Sharma
      Feb 14, 2015 at 9:29 am
      Even communist China used their state political monopoly to frame laws for economical expansion. This is the reason Indian voters have elected Modi, the economical reformer. All obsolete laws regarding labor practices and land acquisitions should be jettisoned without delay.
      Reply
      1. T
        Truth
        Feb 14, 2015 at 5:37 pm
        BJP reforms mean to hurt common people, they sell country to rich people and foreign investors. There should be proper balance between social and capital planning.
        Reply
        1. T
          Truth
          Feb 14, 2015 at 5:38 pm
          His reforms are only going to hurt poor and middle cl as it did in Gujarat.
          Reply

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