Political stability as the engine of economic growth

Updated: Nov 18 2005, 05:30am hrs
The only way to understand the present is to understand the past. The history of economic development shows that societies with political stability achieve a higher rate of economic growth. The era of belligerent economies, sustained by gun-boat diplomacy, developing at a faster rate is over.

The strength of the chain lies in its weakest link. The face of the poorest is an indicator of the health of the economy of a nation. In a democracy, conducive conditions of peoples participation in all economic activities, as stake-holders and recipients of fruits of their participation, should be created.

Outsourced call centres provide opportunities for employment and for crucial foreign exchange. The large English-speaking Indian manpower is an advantage which must be maintained. China has started a massive programme to teach 30 million Chinese the English language to siphon off outsourcing jobs from India to China.

Massive, rapid industrialisation is imperative to absorb semi-skilled and skilled manpower now out of jobs. Our textile industry has become a thing of the past. Attractive and cheap textiles goods from South Korea and China have left our textile industry non-competitive. There is need to revive industry.

An international outlook and propensity to grab opportunities are the need of the hour. For a fully developed economic super-structure, we have to pay attention to the creation of infrastructure. Power is prime priority.

FDI is needed for creating infrastructure. For that, all avenues should be exploited. FDI investment in China is over $30 billion per annum which is about 10 times Indias FDI. No doubt overseas Chinese, out of patriotism, invest in China and that investment attracts more investment there. China has built a good infrastructure which invites more FDI.

India should explore and motivate overseas Indians to invest in India. That huge brain drain from India should be made to see India from a different prism.

The Indian economy flourishes on the prosperity of the agriculture sector which has, unfortunately, developed the tendency of stagnation or slow growth. The era of Green Revolution and White Revolution is past. We need a second revolution of that sort in view of the unchecked population growth. This demographic effect has reduced peoples purchasing power and consumption.

We have to increase agriculture production, increase purchasing power of the rural masses by providing them jobs so that the wheels of National Economy remain on the fast track. The Rural Employment Scheme is a step in the right direction to provide them jobs and create infrastructure.

Democracy requires that the scales of social injustice are held in perfect equilibrium. For social justice, peoples participation in democratic institutions and creating new leadership at the grass-root level, Rajiv Gandhi visualized the Panchayati Raj system. This is a new step in decentralization of power. These institutions need Government support and finance, so that elected representatives are responsible to the people.

India has entered a new era of coalition politics. Coalition-dharma demands adherence to Common Minimum Programme. Past experience shows the tergiversation of the so-called secular outfits, in making private deals to remain in power, had eroded their credibility among people.

Success of the present UPA lies in learning from the failure of their predecessors. We have to take care to see that no section of the society feels alienated, especially the minorities and weaker sections of society. Peace and political stability are imperative for economic growth and to redeem our pledge given to the people at the time of elections.

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