Implementation & Dialogue Critical, Post-Budget

New Delhi: | Updated: Feb 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
Implementation through a process of dialogue and communication will be a key strategy for the government after the Budget. That was the message from management guru and chairman of Boston Consulting Group Mr Arun Maira. He is also the author of Shaping the Future: Aspirational Leadership and Beyond. A great Budget in itself is meaningless unless the government has an ability to implement it in letter and spirit, he says.

Mr Maira cites the example of Budget 2001, which had been rated as an outstanding Budget and accorded a nine out of ten score. Euphoria died soon as various economic measures including labour and agricultural reforms could not be implemented, despite being a structural compulsion.

But at the same time, the same government has been able to implement its agenda on disinvestment. The success lies in narrowing down the differences on the issue through dialogue. And when there was a difference on certain matters including the manner of valuation, the government came forward for an open debate and put forth its position in a transparent manner, he adds.

The message is clear: Reforms can not be enforced in democratic countries like India by autocratic means as was adopted in China and Singapore.

According to Mr Maira, the situation is ripe in India where globalisation has ushered in a new era of freedom of movement of goods, services and information, but at the same time in a boundary-less world the minority community is always worried about its identity and interests. A democratic state has to take the interest of each segment into account. As a country like India is full of divergent interests, it is possible to implement any reform measure effectively only after taking all views into consideration and that is possible only through dialogue.

Commenting on Thomas Friedmans view on uniform globalisation process in Lexus and Olive Tree, Mr Maira said, the same is not true for India. Our country is like the bodhi tree, any seed of the tree, if left even in a concrete structure, later comes out as a plant by breaking the structure. Hence, we can not afford to leave any seed of discontent while taking any policy decision.

When the country is undergoing a massive socio-economic transition, there is need to have strong leadership in every field, he adds.