Skip to main content

India needs accountability, should clean up politics, end cronyism: Dr Arun Kumar

By Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Arjun Kumar

The pandemic pushed the Indian economy to the greatest crisis that it ever had to face, leading to its collapse in the month of April/May 2020. Although the official data computed the fall at 7.7%, the economy has declined by around 29%, estimated Dr Arun Kumar, Malcolm S Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi.
Chairing a panel discussion on the topic, Pandemic & Union Budget 202: Implementation and the way forward, organized by Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, and Counterview, he argued that the Finance Minister has not taken the correct macroeconomic framework into account and missed a golden chance to shift the economy back onto its tracks. He highlighted the critical challenges of ensuring universal vaccine administration, tackling the new variants of Covid-19 that has emerged, reviving the demand in the economy and bringing an end to the menace of crony capitalism.
Expanding on this growing challenge of cronyism, Dr Kumar listed out a few examples of how crony capitalism could negatively impact several sectors and dismantle the efforts to build back better. He went on to add that the rapid spree of disinvestments that are in the pipeline will flood the asset markets, leading to a drop in the asset prices. This will provide the crony capitalists with cheap assets.
Further, commenting on the increased investments in capital intensive projects, he added that in the allocation of said projects, the crony capitalists may interfere and impair transparent and unbiased allocation. This can lead to the formation of large monopolies in several sectors like telecom etc. Even with regards to the plans of setting up a Development Finance Institution – DFI, he cautioned that cronyism could lead to corruption and bias in the disbursal of funds. Crony capitalism may also dismantle the intentions of setting up Bad banks, he remarked.
Dr Kumar noted that in the garb of promoting the concept of minimum government, maximum Governance, the government is hellbent on its mission to dismantle the public sector. However, the pandemic has shown that the public sector is of critical importance. 
Rather than doing away with it completely, the government should focus on making them more efficient and accountable, he suggested. The real problem is the rising crony capitalism that has crept up in the public sector. This needs to be tackled with better implementation of rules and by bringing about a clean-up of politics, he opined.
---
Acknowledgements: Nikhil Jacob, based in Goa, is a research intern at IMPRI, New Delhi, and is pursuing post-graduate diploma in Environmental Law and Policy at the National Law University, Delhi

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Abysmal deficit of water, food waste recycle treatment 'impacting' Chennai life

By Simi Mehta*  We are living in a state where the most basic needs like food and water are not assured to the people residing in the urban areas, which account for the biggest sources of food and water wastage. Socio-economic inequality in society which is pervasive in urban areas is one of the main reasons for this.