Newly appointed vice chairman of the NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, hailed Rajashthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje as the only CM in the country willing to take risks for government and economic reforms.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015, Panagariya said, “I appreciate the efforts of chief minister Vasundhara Raje who is willing to make changes which other states are not.”
He praised Raje’s move to reform over five labour laws. He said that China, being a communist nation, had flexible labour markets while India had an extremely inflexible one. “No one is willing to take the bull by its horns except for Raje,” he said.
Panagariya, one of the panelists on the session called Rajasthan: Out of BIMARU, said that the state was not only soon moving out of the socially backward category, it had broken away from BIMARU long back.
“The observation that Rajasthan is a part of BIMARU is fiction. In fact, today, the per capita GDP of at least 11 states in the country are lower than Rajasthan’s,” the former vice-chairman of Rajasthan chief minister’s economic advisory council said.
To this, noted economist and permanent member of NITI Aayog Bibek Debroy said, “The fact that Rajasthan had come out of the BIMARU was debatable for several reasons one of the primary ones being the fact that growth indicators increment faster than human development indices of a state as seen in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh besides Rajasthan.”
Panagariya, also mentioned that some progress towards reform had also been made in the land acquisition issue when the BJP government passed the Land Ordinance Bill. The economist expounded the trickle down theory whereby growth is necessary for people’s empowerment. Money investment for production generates revenue which is used by the state and Central governments which in turn will improve education and health parameters of the state.
Panagariya said the above in response to a question on the recent educational disqualification ordered by the state for people contesting the Panchayat polls. The question denounced the Rajasthan government’s decision as being unfair for a state where informal systems of education are widely prevalent.