Jana Sounds Caution Not On Reforms

Panaji, April 12: | Updated: Apr 13 2002, 05:30am hrs
The likes of Madan Lal Khurana and Sahib Singh Varma in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can heave a sigh of relief. Their party president K Jana Krishnamurthy on Friday though favoured the implementation of second generation reforms, stressed the need for an indepth analysis to strike a healthy balance between economic rationality behind economic reforms and capacity of the party for political management.

Phase and sequence of economic reforms should also keep in mind our capacity to manage politically. I also appeal to the government to introduce adequate social safety net measures before initiating steps towards the lower interest rate regime, which no doubt is necessary for economic development, Mr Krishnamurthy said.

The BJP office bearers at a meeting in Panaji on Friday. (PTI Photo)
In his presidential address at the inaugural session of the partys national executive meet, taking place here against the backdrop of recent electoral debacles and the ongoing Gujarat violence, Mr Krishnamurthy suggested that the Central government should appoint a committee of competent persons to study the impact of first generation reforms launched in 1991 and submit its report without delay in three to six months.

This will enable the government to assure itself that it is pursuing the reform process rightly and earnestly, he commented. Mr Krishnamurthys address at the inaugural session was dominated by the pace of implementation of economic reforms and austerity measures vis-a-vis partys performance, and also the fall out of the Budget proposals on its setback in the Delhi civic polls.

However, Mr Krishnamurthy in no uncertain terms made it clear that the BJP-led governments austerity measures would go a long way in winning goodwill of the common people provided they cooperate fully. Mr Krishnamurthy, who has already ruled out the possibility of removal of finance minister Yashwant Sinha, said that the party needed to go carefully into the impression that some of the Budget proposals had contributed to its setback.

Even Prime Minister has made a mention of it. If this impression proved to be correct then the matter needs to be examined as to how to neutralise the adverse impact or to go in for immunisation, he noted. Mr Krishnamurthy, in a serious bid to infuse confidence among the dwindling middle class voters over the sensitive issue of finance ministers proposal to lower interest rate on savings, said that whatever might be the economic justification many retired persons had suddenly been made to look around for support as India does not have adequate safety net.

Touching on the ailing textile sector, Mr Krishnamurthy called upon the Centre to take coordinated efforts by healthy interaction between ministries of textile, finance and small scale industry in a bid to restore textile sectors health and make it once again stands on its feet. He claimed that the Indian textile industry, comprising mills, powerlooms and handlooms, was in doldrums and needed special attention otherwise lakhs of families who are dependent on this sector are likely to be thrown to the streets.

Commenting upon the piling of foodstocks, which is expected to cross 75 million tonne during the next procurement, he stressed the need for issuance of food coupons with a view to bringing in flexibility in public distribution system. Instead of distribution on a fortnightly basis or on weekly basis, like it is in Kerala, there should be flexibility so as to enable wage-earners to purchase on daily basis, he said.