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The dead weight of poor governance practices

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For the average citizen, criminality is far more worrying than corruption. But the steps towards building a more responsible banking culture, to avoid reoccurrence, are not yet visible. Turning up the heat on corruption has become the leitmotif of the BJP government.Democracy is about winning elections, forming stable governments, governing efficiently and ensuring justice. But this requires a change in ideology to put Blind Rivet Nut supplier growth with jobs and a crackdown on criminality first. But they also value and actively guard their rights.Democracy is about winning elections, forming stable governments, governing efficiently and ensuring justice. The Modi government has made some lateral appointments at the highest level. Allowing the overvalued rupee to realign with its real value can boost exports to meet reviving overseas demand and level the playing field for domestic producers versus seemingly cheap imports.But this is being uncharitable to the BJP government.Poor infrastructure and high transaction costs are another drag on growth. A government which does not consistently impose the rule of law uniformly loses credibility over time. Reforming the government — a long-delayed, unpleasant, plumbing task — is one way to reduce the starkness of the tradeoff as it exists today. The minorities are caught in the "appeasement"and "alienation" paradox.5 per cent growth and the terminal year of the Narendra Modi government — Fiscal 2019 — with seven per cent.More must be done to reduce the drag of widespread criminality. Switching escalators can help. China faces potential social unrest — a drag on growth. But a comprehensive policy for reforming government appointments is sorely needed.Growth has taken a hit. Admittedly, his supporters are overwhelmingly upper and middle-caste Hindus, though a tentative outreach to the lower castes, dalits and tribals has started. At some point, an efficient and purposeful tradeoff can be made between higher growth and more rounded social and economic outcomes, like social protection and investing in human development. We need more specialised skills, directly linked to service delivery — nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, accountants, tax professionals and lawyers. Two new beginnings would, however, be welcome.Second, there is a yawning gap between the proactivity of government in ending corruption and the business-as-usual approach to ending criminality. The average growth will then be one percentage point lower than under the previous government — a point Dr Manmohan Singh repeatedly emphasises to show that this government is only about hype. Reforming the election system to root out criminals; working with the Supreme Court to reform the dilatory judicial process and speed up the delivery of justice; enlarging the reach of judicial services; and reforming the police and prosecution systems are critical to reduce the drag imposed by shoddy implementation of the rule of law. Higher allocations of public finance for infrastructure; doubling the rate of highway development; modernising ports and railways; tripling the number of airports connected with regular flights; promoting the free flow of goods across state borders, are positive steps to reduce the drag on growth. We are still very far from being China, where even the option to navigate this tradeoff does not exist. We cannot afford another drag on growth. First, citizens like an effective government. Quixotically, the levels of public trust and credibility that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has generated, within India and abroad, is unprecedented since the days of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Growth has been affected because drags like the accumulated stressed assets of banks trap them into recycling credit to discredited corporate borrowers to keep the accounts "healthy", crowding out credit to others, who could build the future.The dead weight of poor governance practices and a predilection for unorthodox solutions, to show quick results, create a drag on its otherwise creditable efforts — just like a person running up the down escalator.First, steps to compensate for the collateral damage caused to business, employment and incomes by hurried attempts to show results and win elections.

This is slowly being rectified. Making a colonial-style government gallop often means cutting corners and turning a blind eye to the encroachment of citizens’ rights. Growth is just one of the metrics of good governance. The open economy model spits out growth but often without jobs and with growing inequality, corruption and criminality. The BJP is less ideologically committed to social and religious diversity than it is to forge a uniform national identity — China style. The djinns unleashed by allowing hired goons to massacre Sikhs in 1984 or by allowing kar sevaks to bring down the Babri Masjid in December 1992 still haunt us. Fiscal 2018 will end with a probable 6. Their "alienation" today is explained as an inevitable consequence of ending the practice of "appeasement" of earlier governments, to retain them as votebanks.Job creation is doing worse than growth, increasing inequality, because jobs in services and manufacturing are being axed at the middle and lower end. Even in agriculture, higher productivity will depend on using machines for tasks currently done by humans, and changing regulations to allow leasing-in land for scaled-up commercial farming — again at the expense of jobs. (Photo: PTI) The Narendra Modi government poses two conundrums to citizens. 2018 should be devoted to consolidation of ongoing initiatives rather than the scheme-a-month, headline-grabbing strategy of the past three years. Better talent can be attracted by linking salary and benefits to specific positions, filled through open competition, rather than through a cadre, as they are today. Reversing the trend of declining public sector employment could help. Second, defined pathways to reaffirm the wider social compact between the government and all citizens. The costly demonetisation exercise; the rapid rolling out of the GST despite the associated implementation glitches; the strong action against corporate founders defaulting on bank loans or short-changing customers and suppliers; rapid financial inclusion and the promotion of bank and digital financial transactions rather than use of cash — all these are initial steps towards combating corruption, increasing tax revenues and improving corporate governance. The BJP government has shown it can do three of the four very well.2017 was a year of significant disruption and of useful beginnings. The BJP is less ideologically committed to social and religious diversity than it is to forge a uniform national identity — China style

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