Economy

Wish list for the new government

budget

I am no political science or economic expert, but in the self improvement principal of Dr.A.P.J.Adbul Kalam “You have to dream before your dreams can come true”  I am chronicling my wish list for the new Modi Sarkar. Yes I know I am only dreaming!

govt-of-india

Economy

  1. Get rid off immediately the Retrospective Tax act which hit the nail in the coffin of business investments. Provide assurance to Indians & the world that Indian tax laws are mature
  2. Goal needs to make India to the top 10 in the world bank list of business friendly nations (currently India is 134), implement actions to make this true in the next 3 years
  3. Bring states on board by providing tax neutral compensation, audit the overall IT systems needed and implement GST (Goods Services Tax) within next 12 months
  4. Provide economic stimulus (direct or indirect) for hard-hit sectors like Automobile & Infrastructure
  5. In a time bound manner dispose the huge number of  tax disputes and cases against businesses languishing in corridors of departments (Income Tax/Service Tax/Excise). Empower bureaucrats (you heard me correct) to settle cases and provide incentive to businesses to opt for it. In a similar spirit pay off the refunds in next 180 days
  6. To handle the NPA (Non performing assets) with Public sector banks. Though there many be a solid case to go against those in previous regime who created this mess for personal gains, now is not the time. Instead do the sensible thing, solve the problem. Capitalize the large 2 to 3 national banks, privatise rest all in phases, go with carrots and sticks to companies who are at default
  7. Work shoulder to shoulder with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and its Governor Mr.Raghuram Rajan
  8. Spell out your vision for next five years for the economy & fiscal discipline, aim for a surplus budget in the fifth year – a reasonable target I think
  9. Sell off BSNL, MTNL, Air India, Airport Authority & others in services sector – government has no business to be in hospitality. Privatise portions of Indian Railways especially coaches and stations, again government has no role here
  10. Finally, consult extensively especially using Social Media across the country before giving shape to your second budget (the full budget for 2015-16) and enshrine that idea

Infrastructure & Policies

  1. Plan and Fund to implement warehousing facility in every district to prevent the huge wastage of grains across the country which are exposed to rodents and elements now. A time bound program of 365 days is needed for it. If Government doesn’t funds for this, then do FDI in retail in earnest with laws stipulating private companies to do warehousing in public-private partnership for public good
  2. Bring out a plan and funding for a national toilet scheme [if everyone is shy to lend their name, you can name it after me :- ) ]. To ensure no village with more than 100 people will be without a municipal toilet that is open always (No padlocks in any of these toilets by design) in next 365 days. This should be a private-public partnership, give tax breaks to corporate for doing this, give special central funding directly to those collectors who score on an annual audit for maintenance. Partner with Melinda-Gates foundation for design ideas, India can fund it, we need their ideas. Optionally remove private/executive/ministerial toilets at all central government offices/public companies. There should be a single set of toilet for visitors and staff across board
  3. In priority reform defence procurement and fund it well. A weak country can never be a prosperous country
  4. Implement  Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s Broadband policy in earnest. Similarly provide financial rewards to state governments doing well on Renewable energy
  5. India lacks behind even our small south east neighbours in volume of tourists. In my opinion, Tourism is one industry that can provide employment (direct/indirect) to all strata of society (educated, illiterate, across caste and language) and for every Rupee invested in a direct employment in tourism by government, you will get 20 times indirect employment. Think of Mom n Pop shops, clerks, drivers, waiters, cooks, guides, porters, cleaners, house keeping and so on. Come out with a national tourism plan in 90 days and fund it well. Liberalize VISA scheme, one David Headley need not make genuine tourists suffer. Take ideas from Europe & Australia for idea on protecting and promoting national treasures. Train 2 Million people in a government funded program across the country with 1 million in metros. Promote 1000 new tourist destinations. Build airports in these places. I have suggested you privatise Air India and Indian Railways, but if you are retaining them then fund them well to ensure they operate more to North-East and inner-lands of the country, mandate to Air India & Indian Railways against Metros only concentration
  6. Make central government servants salary to be in parity with market conditions, but remove all undemocratic perks like special sirens, cooks, servants, free phone calls and so on. In the same spirit, mandate all ministers to use public services (Bus, Train, Hospitals, schools) periodically and report their usage in their ministerial website
  7. Give more teeth and autonomy to all regulators including TRAI, IRDA, SEBI & RBI. Unify all anti-corruption laws and departments including Lokpal, CVC and so on. Give autonomy to CBI and fund it to take it to international standards
  8. Provide anonymous online mechanisms for feedback from citizens and ticketing system for tracking and replying to them (anonymous if the citizen chooses to)
  9. Setup special new courts at Supreme Court and High Court levels to dispose off the millions of case in a 3 year timeframe. On a similar line reform in land records and registration (a huge area today for corruption and black money) needs to be done on priority. Implement state of art IT solutions for these, if planned correctly this can be a IT revolution showing the way to the world
  10. Finally, work hard to settle long standing border disputes with all our neighbours. Align closer to USA & China for our own benefit. Throw India’s weight in the area around Indian ocean to protect our national interests

All the best to Mr.Narendra Modi and his team.

3 Comments

  • ஓ…..உங்கள் சிந்தனை,கனவு எவ்வளவு உயர்வானது
    இந்தியா வளர்ச்சி அடைய உஙகள் ஆலோசனை நிச்சயமாக உதவும்.
    தங்களை போன்றவர்கள் இருப்பதால் தான் நாட்டில் மழையே பெய்கிறது .
    வாழ்த்துக்கள். நண்பரே.
    வாழ்த்துக்களுடன்
    பாலச்சந்தர்

    [Blog Author: Contact details removed for safety]

    • திரு.பாலச்சந்தர் அவர்களே, நன்றி.

      எந்த கட்சி ஆட்சி செய்தாலும், ஆட்சி மாறினாலும் நன்மை நடக்கட்டும். இந்திய மக்கள் ரொம்ப கஷ்டப்பட்டுவிட்டார்கள்!

  • Great points, venkat – my favourite is #9 in the first list.

    I not only agree with Dr. Kalam’s quote, but I further believe that if you are dreaming, dream BIG.

    So here’s my single-point economic wishlist for the new government: Consolidate all taxes into just two taxes as follows:

    1. Income tax: Applicable to each and every earning citizen, with no exceptions, no exemptions, no deductions, no surcharges and a flat rate of 10 to 12%. Just imagine the simplification in tax filing, returns, TDS, and the huge disincentive for tax evasion.

    2. Value-added tax: One single, uniform rate that is exactly equal to the income tax rate, applicable on each and every transaction – whether B2B or B2C – with provision for full “setoff” by all intermediaries.

    How’s that for dreaming big?
    Or is it MISSION IMPOSSIBLE????