Millennium Post

‘Indecisiveness hampering nation’s growth’

What do you think about the current political developments in the country?

Ours is a mature democracy, and the political developments that are taking place currently are a means to a change. If you look at the last two or three decades, the collective performance of our people has been effective in choosing the right leader for our country. Media, too, plays an important role in today’s scenario, however, media opinions do not always reflect the exact mood of the people of the country, because when it comes to national politics, there is a huge segment of population that has a better understanding of political developments as compared to when we became a democratic nation initially and media has further trained them in making well informed decisions.

This government, by and large, has done good things. There is no scarcity of things in our country as the case used to be in the 60. Yes they are struggling with factors such as inflation, but still the country is moving towards growth, which is a good sign. So I believe that good things will emerge out of the current turmoil in the Indian political scenario.

Do you think it’s time to break out of dynastic politics?

You will find dynasty in every field as dynasty follows a natural course. Children tend to follow in the footsteps of their parents as the influence of the family remains in the minds of people because of the sacrifices or the contribution a family has made for its country.

So while a dynastic system is not good, it is also not correct to reject someone simply because he or she belongs to a certain family. For the people who belong to a dynastic system, one has to realise that they have been trained for years together to take up a certain role of leadership.

But what about credibility?

That is a very important factor, but it is the beauty of our people that collectively they have the maturity of rejecting a candidate if he or she does not have credibility. Look at our prime minister, he is the epitome of credibility and is highly respected for the same. A non-credible leader, even more active, will be a short-term player and is a product of circumstances, but will ultimately be rejected.

International Monetary Fund in its report said that India’s economic growth will dip from 5.9 per cent to 5.7 per cent. Even though it’s a marginal dip, what do you think are the reasons for it?

Our economic fundamentals are very strong. For example, agriculture which is one of our strongest economic factors. Secondly, the workforce, which is an asset in the case of India.  We have also had a robust hand in the IT revolution but recently, with BPOs being shifted, lower level employment is suffering. But then on the other hand, there are automobile innovations, which are ruling automobile markets in countries like  Japan and Germany. So our workforce is a huge asset for us.

But in the case of India, there are some foreign forces that operate through the religious route, and through our own constitutional institutions. They know that ours is a very strong democracy and it will be very hard to defeat it, but with the help of these institutions, either the international companies, or some competing countries or some non-India-friendly people create such situations in our country that the whole productive mood is spoilt. Otherwise there was a momentum and things were growing at eight per cent but now, everyone is so demoralised that it has had an effect on the country’s growth. Decision-making has taken a back seat and that is the reason for the economic slowdown and falling GDP in India.

Asian Development Bank said that India needs to address infrastructure and policy bottlenecks if it wants to return to a growth of eight per cent or more. What is your take on that?

Yes we need to improve our infrastructure to set a path towards growth. Look at our road network, for example. The National Highway development system has done nothing as compared to the requirements from it and lack of funds is not the reason behind it. Take manufacturing for instance. Our GDP is falling because our manufacturing system is going down, there is no upgradation of technology to produce quality products and compete in the world market. Our export earnings are not impressive. It all boils down to taking a decision and a country cannot develop unless you have big infrastructure projects and no foreign investor will enter your market unless there is quick decision making.

Another aspect is research and development, which is not happening in our country. Innovation is key to growth and unless we capitalise on it we will not become a ruling nation. A rich nation remains rich because research and development is a continuous part of their growth mechanism and we need to evolve that kind of mind set to grow.

Developers are sitting on 1.4 lakh unsold housing units in NCR, what is the reason for that?

If you don’t have proper water and power supply, roads, schools and a better living environment to offer and are just building a concrete jungle who will go there to live? People don’t just need a house to live, they need job centres, a commercial complex, good hospitals and schools, and unless you create these things, you won’t be able to offer a quality of life that people require to live. So these are the unplanned housing units that are lying vacant.

Take the case of Greater Noida, they have created job centres, hospitals, institutions and great infrastructure and now the population density is also coming and it will pick up fast now. Infact, it is one the best towns in the NCR.
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