Though its early days to judge Akhilesh wave that swept UP recently, the architect of Samajwadi Party's outstanding win, Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has a tough task on hand in tackling lawlessness and fulfilling promises made in his party manifesto.
His skill would be under test in dealing with the issue given the background of the militant image of SP workers, he has an uphill task of dispelling Samajwadi Party's image of being lax in tackling lawlessness. But within days of assuming office, Akhilesh Yadav has disappointed many people by giving the impression that these pressing concerns may be beyond his ability to deal with.
A disproportionately large number of ministers inducted into his government have long histories of crime, serious attacks on political opponents of the ruling party, and on dalits, have taken place.
If crime persists and “goonda raj” — which many thought characterised the SP’s previous tenure — returns, an environment hospitable to industry, social cohesiveness and political stability will prove elusive. We hope the CM can rise above the constraints imposed by the core social base that brought him to office.
Another uphill task for him would be in his dealings with the party seniors who may be upset at the sudden transition taking place in it. Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav initially relented the idea by putting Mulayam Singh’s candidature to head the UP government but Mulayam Singh was firm in putting Akhilesh on the driving seat hence trounce was made between them. Despite being aware of the power he wields in SP, Akhilesh always presented himself as a modest young man.
His challenges also include ways to fulfil his poll manifesto of providing tablets and laptops to high school and intermediate pass-outs, doling out unemployment allowance which would cause excessive burden on the state exchequer. Dispelling the common perception that the Samajwadi Party led by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav had an old school mindset, Akhilesh as the party's chief campaigner emerged as its modern face in the assembly elections.
Forging ahead against personal attacks from rivals, the civil environment engineer talked about development shedding SP's image of being anti-computers and anti-English. The architect of Samajwadi Party's outstanding win was also firm in denying election tickets to candidates with criminal antecedents.
Though to Akhilesh Yadav credit, he is growing in a mature mass leader with huge fan following amongst youth in the state. He is perceived to be the bridge between conventional ideology of samajwad and modern outlook in the party fold. Fortunately for him, he has tasted power in the past hence the present post will not make him berserk. Akhilesh remains a level headed young leader even after the coronation as Chief Minister of countries largest state. Now the serious business of governance will test the character of rising star of Indian politics.
In the UPA's scheme of things, politics appears to have taken precedence over economics, The big underlying positive message for this year's is that high growth is here to stay, though global factors might periodically dampen it. Accompanying this prognosis is one that is as unpalatable as it is bold - inflation too is here to stay. In the next financial year, the economy could expand 9-9.25%, while higher savings and investment, coupled with India's demographic dividend, could propel it to an ever-higher trajectory in the years to come. But it sounds a note of caution on infrastructure and the fiscal deficit. Higher growth would push up inflation by 1.5 percentage points, and capital flows from overseas are also adding to domestic inflationary pressures. The solution is familiar: strengthen food security, provide subsidised fertilizers, and ensure financial inclusion. The other part of the prescription might not be politically easy for a government reeling under an Opposition attack on price rise as well as corruption. In fact, it even talks of not cracking down on all forms of hoarding and compares it with cholesterol which can be good and bad.
Some of the suggestions evoke a strong sense of deja vu: for instance, boosting farm productivity through a second green revolution and stepping up investment in the sector which accounts for nearly one-fifth of the economy and supports over half the population. Another suggestion that is a blast from the past is on plugging leakages in government schemes, especially the public distribution system. The recent survey cites studies to show that leakages in the PDS are anywhere between 40% and 55%. The way out is also something that has been talked about for at least half a decade: direct cash transfers. The UID could help the cause and a beginning could be made with kerosene. One clear break from the past is arguably also a telling indicator of the mood of the times - there is a moral science lecture of sorts against the backdrop of a string of scandals that, corporate chiefs say, is also affecting policy-making. The document talks about the need to foster the culture of honesty and trustworthiness for rapid and robust growth. The Union budget 2011 however failed to tackle the two most urgent issues namely inflation and corruption effecting millions of Indians at the lowest level, but I assume that this is the cost that we will be paying to sustain high growth rate momentum. Furthermore, Supreme Court ordered removal of CVC PJ Thomas has put government on mat, And has dented the brand Manmohan tremendously.
India is the second fastest-growing economy in the world after China and with a projected population growth of 180 million people every ten years, the country needs a lot of housing. The Government of India's Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation recently reported an immediate need for 26.53 million houses with an additional growth of 7.37% from 2007 to 2012. Meanwhile, India's middle class is growing exponentially. A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute, the economic research arm of international consulting group McKinsey and Company, states that India's middle class currently constitutes 50 million. By 2025 this will exceed to 583 million - roughly 41% of the population. These household incomes will grow to 51.5 trillion rupees, ($1.1 trillion USD), the report says, 11 times today's level and 58% of total Indian income. This means India's housing industry needs another 62.8 million houses by 2025." According to Government of India approximately US$200 Billion will be required over the next 7-10 Years for Basic Infrastructure Projects". In India alone, The Economic Intelligence unit estimates that an 80 Million unit housing shortage exists, 40 Million of this in urban areas. It is evident that the infrastructure of our nation has to be addressed in all areas and modernized to the levels of developed nations. The numbers quoted are enormous and of a truly staggering proportion. Frankly, the state of the nation's infrastructure remains severely out of date and built to the requirements of many decades ago and is not capable of supporting the large increased population which is expected to surpass that of China's by 2050.
Regrettably, the Indian system works to frustrate the transaction for example, in certain areas such as Land Registration, Title Clearance and Land Conversion there is a convoluted and arduous process here at best. This can be made completely transparent and easily accessible through legal reforms with appropriate laws enacted and a well-managed, organized electronic database. These simple procedures would increase global and national competitiveness, encourage entrepreneurship and simultaneously increase national productivity, development and distribution of higher quality products and services resulting in lower consumer pricing. This is a reason why since 1980, Our Northern neighbor China has attracted approximately $345 billion USD in FDI, while India has languished behind at a mere $18 billion USD.
Few realize that while 54% of the US's $13 trillion GDP is linked to its organized realty industry, India's real estate currently constitutes only 3% of the GDP, (projected to reach 12% by 2015.) India's real estate sector has only been open to foreign investors since 2004. Foreclosure laws were introduced the same year under the Securitization Act. No residential mortgages existed until early 2000 and no land loans, construction loans, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) nor conventional construction finance like we know it in the West exist to this day.
Indian real estate development has declined in the last year because of the global economy, primarily a knee jerk reaction but it will resurge strongly due to the country's projected population growth (180 million per decade and 70% growth in major metro areas per decade.) Cushman & Wakefield Research is equally optimistic. In a recent paper it states that India's real estate will remain robust, especially its residential market.
Addressing India's Housing and Infrastructure requirements is an immense task that will require everyone's cooperation and at all levels. It is now very clear that we need to continue to create this alternative framework or system in the Urban Infrastructure & Housing sector through aggressive and rapid reforms. The corporatizing of this sector to international levels and making it attractive to FDI can and will bring great benefits to us through large FDI flows in this sector.
So the time has come to jump the ravine in one giant leap. A series of feeble jumps can only lead to inertia and further lack of productivity. So the question in front of us is whether we have the industry resolve to enact the necessary measures required at the policymaking level. If we can, the results will be immediate and relief will be clear as we tap into the enormous power of the international money markets. Their favor to our nation will in effect provide an invaluable equity component when channeled into our infrastructure projects and their financing provision will affect massive infrastructure and housing developments greatly benefiting the nation of India and her children as well as all parties involved.
Corruption is a global phenomenon hence we cannot be critical about ourselves regarding practicing corrupt practices yet India is suffering because the corruption is affecting lowest strata of our country badly. We must support person of conviction, integrity and high morala namely Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, Subramanian Swamy who has single handily fought the most complicated 2G scam of the present time. Fortunately, we have a large number of honest people living in India but with no unity unlike dishonest people who tends to form a close syndicate to protect respective interest. Raja & Radia duo investigation is likely to lead to many more surprises if the investigation is done honestly wherein the trail of money split can led to many Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, media persons. All the progress in the CWG, 2G scam, Food scam is having to common indicator that our honest Prime Minster is gradually loosing authority over governance leading to formation of lobbyist both within and outside government that takes and influence crucial decisions for the government. Unfortunately it is proving a simple point that Dr Manmohan Singh honeymoon of UPA1 is over, secondly it reflects Sonia Gandhi authority is diminishing fast within the party (ref Jaganmohan Reddy challenge, Digvijay Singh's conduct) and outside the party in the UPA II alliance (conduct of DMK, NCP and TMC). The cross-connection of Raja & Radia duo in the opposition parties and media and judicial domain in India do establish a point that money can influence high and mighty with ease. The non-ethical practices adopted by certain powerful families by forming political party to give official colour to the fudual proxy power is a blot to the largest democracy in India.
The politicians with access over huge unaccounted cash generated out of corrupt system have established tremendous stronghold over bureaucracy, Judiciary and media and the fallout is natural. The people with power are now in a position to flex muscles blatantly without fearing of the consequences. Anil Ambanis, Vijay Mallya, Satyam Raju are the icon for new emerging India, uncensored ridiculous films and television shows are high on demand that is breeding moral corruption in our society, convicted stars like Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan are having the biggest following amongst youth of the country and off course lobbyist Radia and cabinet minister A Raja are running our government, Suresh Kalamadi and Lalit Bhanot are assigned by us to run the sporting arena of the country, surely even a man with limited common sense can predict the fallout for the nation. It is a must for people of India to think again, because people of the country have the ultimate power to elect government. The democracy has matured a lot in India but the crucial question is that whether our citizens at large have understood the value of honest competent governance. For me, we lack political options hence people are running out of option to identify a right cord.
Congress Party is grasping to breath, opposition parties are focused on immediate gains ignoring the long term national interest. Why BJP and left has deliberately ignored to raise CWG and Food grain scams earlier? 2G scam is focused on DMK and putting pressure on Congress party to take action that shall lead to DMK exit hence fall of government is their primary motive, but the corruption must be raised without party affiliation to punish the guilty. Supreme Court intervention in the 2G scam to monitor the investigation is a welcome step and country must seek an explanation from the ruling elites to come out clean or perish.