8:05 am - Friday December 15, 2017

मनरेगा जैसे एक और दिशाहीन ‘ स्टीमूलस ‘ से किसी का भी भला नहीं होगा : Honestly, does India need a stimulus package? – rediff

मनरेगा जैसे एक और दिशाहीन ‘ स्टीमूलस  ‘ से किसी का भी भला नहीं होगा : Honestly, does India need a stimulus package? – rediff

R.K.UpadhyayRKU

डूबती अर्थव्यवस्था से सरकार भी अब पहली बार चिंतित हो गयी है . आखिर झूटी आर्थिक  प्रगति की  काठ की हांडी कब तक चढ़ती ?

परन्तु यदि इस डूबती अर्थव्यवस्था का इलाज़ वही मूर्ख वैद्य करेंगे जिन्होंने इसे डूबोया था तो अर्थव्यवस्था और डूब जायेगी . इस सरकार  की कमजोरी ही बाबू शाही का सम्पूर्ण सरकार पर राज है . वह बाबु शाही ने कभी मनरेगा जैसी मूर्खता पूर्ण स्कीमों  मैं देश को फंसाया था जिससे देश आज भी नहीं उबर पाया. मोदी सरकार मैं भी बाबू शाही  देश की अर्थ व्यवस्था को डुबो कर पल्ला झाड कर बैठ गयी  नीती आयोग के उपाध्यक्ष पंगारिया को बदल कर बाबुशाही ने एक बलि का बकरा तो हलाल कर दिया पर वही बाबुशाही अब एक नया शगूफा लेन की योजना बना रही है . आर्थिक विकास के लिए एक अमरीका जैसे ‘ स्टीमुलस पॅकेज  की बात शुरू हो गयी है . परन्तु अब तक के अनुभव से तो यह ‘ अंधा बांटे रेवड़ी मुड  मुड  अपने को देय ‘ ही होगी . वित्त विभाग के सरकारी बाबु दाल काण्ड की तरह अपने यार दोस्तों मैं पैसा बाँट देंगे . अवरुद्ध औद्योगिक प्रगति जस की तस ही रह जायेगी . आवश्यकता है की यह पैकेज उनकी समस्यायों को सुलझाए जिन्हें सरकार की नीतियों ने प्रताड़ित किया है . इनमें सबसे पहले तो ‘ कन्स्ट्रकशन  सेक्टर ‘ जिसकी सबसे ज्यादा खटिया खडी हुयी है . मूर्ख बाबू ताली बजा रहे हैं की काला धन कम हो जाएगा परन्तु करोड़ों गरीब मजदूरों  के पेट पर जो लात पडी है उसका क्या होगा ? बैंकों को नोट बंदी की जमा राशि पर ३.५ % ब्याज देना होगा . उद्योग अभी क़र्ज़ लेंगे नहीं क्योंकि मांग नहीं बढ़ रही है . सरकार को पुराने तैयार घर खरीदने पर पाँच साल के लिए छः प्रतिशत ब्याज दर घोषित कर देनी चाहिए . इससे बिना बिके घरों से चढ़ते ब्याज से उद्योग को कुछ राहत मिलेगी और सरकार को ब्याज देने से मुक्ती मिलेगी . दूसरा डूबा हुआ सेक्टर निर्यात है . भारतीय  मुद्रा के दर मैं कमी के बावजूद भी निर्यात नहीं बढ़ रहा है . उन अवरुद्ध सेक्टरों को मदद की आवश्यकता है . मध्यम वर्ग पिछले तीन  वर्षों से उपेक्षित है क्योंकी सरकार पर व्यापारिओं का कब्ज़ा है . शिक्षा लोन , मेडिकल लोन इत्यादि को चुकाना मुश्किल हो गया है . उनके आय कर की दर मैं भारी कटौती करना आवश्यक  . किसान को कुछ फायदा नहीं हुआ और खाद्यान्नों की बड़ी कीमत का सारा पैसा बिचौलिए ले गए . खाद्यान्नों के बैंक लोन व् सट्टे पर प्रतिबन्ध वापिस लगा कर गेहूं के समर्थन मूल्य मैं सौ रूपये क्विंटल की वृद्धि करना आवश्यक है . इसी तरह और फसलों पर समुचित वृद्धि कर सट्टे व्  बैंक लोन  को रोक देने से मूल्यों की बढ़ोतरी को रोका जा सकता है .सॉफ्टवेर का निर्यात अब कम होता जाएगा . इसलिए मेडिकल पर्यटन को बढ़ावा देने के लिए सरकार को विदेशी पर्यटकों के प्रिय स्थलों पर बड़े बड़े मल्टी  स्पेशलिटी अस्पतालों के नए निर्माण को को प्रोत्साहन देने की आवश्यकता है . इसलिए शुरू होने के  पाँच साल मैं  ३०% निर्यात के आश्वासन पर कम से कम दस बड़े अस्पतालों के निर्माण के लिए मुफ्त जमीन व्  सस्ते ब्याज की आर्थिक सहायता दी जाये . पुरानी  कंपनियों के अतिरिक्त एच सी एल जैसी बडी कंपनियां इस क्षेत्र मैं बढना चाहती  हैं .भारत को अगले दस वर्षों मैं मेडिकल पर्यटन से सौ बिलियन डॉलर कमाई का लक्ष्य निर्धारित करना चाहिए .इसके लिए भारतीय दूतावासों को सक्रीय करने की भी आवश्यकता है . पुराने उद्योगों मैं जो देश मैं गैस य कोयले की कमी से मारे गए हैं उनको आर्थिक मदद देना आवश्यक है . स्टील इत्यादि के सस्ते चीनी आयात को रोका जाय जिससे भारतीय उद्योग अपनी पूरी क्षमता का उपयोग कर सकें  .नए उद्योगों को सस्ती जमीन उपलब्ध कराई जाय . युवकों द्वारा स्थापित नए उद्यमों को भी तीन साल तक ३.५ % ब्याज पर ऋण दिए जाएँ . मेडिकल , इंजीनियरिंग , एमबीए की पढाई इतनी महंगी हो गयी है की गरीब छात्र उसे नहीं कर पा रहे हैं . उधर उनकी सीटें खाली जा रही हैं . गरीब परन्तु मेधावी छात्रों कोबिना जाती भेदभाव के  ३.५ % ब्याज पर ऋण दिया जाय और पढाई पूरी होने नौकरी मिलने तक ऋण को ब्याज से से मुक्त किया जाय .

मुख्यतः सरकार के पैकेज उनको फायदा करें जो अब तक उपेक्षित थे और जिनके उपेक्षा के  कारण आर्थिक विकास अवरुद्ध है .

बाबुओं पर छोड़ा तो इस पैसे को भी मनरेगा बना  देंगे क्योंकि बाबुओं के लिए सरकारी खर्च ही तो आमदनी है .

रेडिफ का लेख पढ़ें .

अन्यथा सब कुछ लुटा के होश मैं आये तो क्या हुआ .

 

Honestly, does India need a stimulus package?

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

I suppose we should be grateful. After months and months in which voices have been raised in concern about a serious and structural slowdown in the Indian economy, the central government has finally accepted that it may, perhaps, have a teensy-weensy problem on its hands.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has met various senior officials, and a revival plan has reportedly been presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Better late than never, you might say. Well, that depends on exactly what the government eventually winds up doing.

The details of the plan are still unavailable as of writing this, but there is every reason to believe reports that its main weapon will be increased government spending.

Even if not presented as such, it is likely that increased spending will be the only easily operationalised aspect of any revival plan.

And thus voices from the ruling party to the commentariat to even the State Bank of India have begun to argue that the government should ignore its achievements on fiscal consolidation, and start throwing money at the slowdown.

It is impossible to exaggerate how bad an idea this is. In fact, I am appalled that it is being made at all

First of all, prioritising government action would suggest that no lessons have been learned by the Modi government from its mismanagement of the economy thus far.

Since it took office, the government has focused on the following approach: First, move towards correcting some of the business-cycle problems it had inherited; second, take advantage of tax growth and expenditure savings on account of cheaper oil; third, spend the proceeds on infrastructure without cutting other spending; and fourth, prioritise positive messaging about the economy in order to raise investors’ “animal spirits”.

While this is a coherent economic programme in theory, it was poorly conceived and implemented.

It rested on a fundamental misdiagnosis of the problems and how they could be solved.

For one, it assumed that higher infrastructure spending would solve the slump in private investment; government spending would “crowd in” private investment by making returns look more attractive.

This has clearly not happened.

Private investors are still concerned about overcapacity, weak demand, and the security of their investments in India. And thus, private investment, and growth, continue to struggle.

In addition, those aspects of the programme that were in fact of importance — such as cleaning up the bad loans problem — were not prioritised in effect.

This is where the mismanagement comes in.

The government took years to move on these problems, and thus they continue to hang over the economy’s head like the sword of Damocles.

Ministers have often talked up the decisiveness of this government, but where politically risky decisions were necessary in figuring out who took haircuts as a consequence of boom-era bad choices — consumers, public sector banks, or promoters — they are still to be taken in more than three years, so I am not feeling like giving the government any points for decisiveness.

The government has known since the day it took office that the banking sector was in trouble, yet its action to repair it has been ineffective and poorly managed, and based around talking points leaked to WhatsApp groups instead of institutional change at banks.

And finally, given that the programme depends on an external impetus — the oil price bonanza — it is inherently unstable, unsustainable, and politically risky, as demonstrated by the increasing clamour for petrol taxes to be reduced.

As a consequence of this poor economic management, the economy has now been slowing for six quarters in spite of benign macro-economic conditions, a growing world economy, and increasing government spending.

You have to really bungle to produce 5.7 per cent growth under the conditions this government is currently facing.

So, you may well ask, surely the logical approach to this situation would be to revisit the economic programme decided in 2014 and correct it?

What is not logical is to instead throw out of the window the one genuine accomplishment of this government — its sticking to a fiscal consolidation path that it inherited.

Government spending has been increased in each Union Budget, and that has not helped the economy recover.

So how can further spending be even considered, especially as India’s history with stimulus packages has been poor?

Many of the economy’s current problems can be dated to the pre-2008 boom, but many are also the product of the easy money on offer when the government panicked after the 2008 financial crisis.

The fiscal deficit rose to dangerous levels, reform was postponed, taxes were cut, loans were rolled over, and so on — all justified by the crisis.

At least that was a real, global crisis. Are we going to make the same mistakes to get out of the current, self-inflicted one?

There is no reason to suppose the Modi stimulus will be any more effective or any less dangerous than the Mukherjee stimulus.

In spite of pious and repetitive statements about a culture of honesty, the plain fact is that the fundamental political economy of the country has not changed since 2010; in the absence of institutional reform, the same incentives still exist to make the same mistakes that were made then.

The problem is that the government seeks to address, on this occasion, a structural problem through attempting counter-cyclical policy.

This is more than a business cycle slowdown. A business cycle slowdown is what India had in 2012-13, and we were pulling out of it well before Modi took power.

Our current slowdown is a consequence of structural problems: An increasingly uncompetitive economy, a lack of property rights and security of investment, an incompetent administration at all levels and a poor regulatory environment.

These are the structural issues that need to be addressed in order to restore India to a higher potential growth path.

With every passing day they go unaddressed in a globalised economy, India’s potential growth actually comes down, as it gets less and less competitive.

Address these issues, and demand, and investment appetite and growth will return.

Spend money without fixing these problems, and they will only get worse. But judging by this government’s track record, it will be unable to think beyond what a few bureaucrats recommend.

And bureaucrats tend to like spending money, not losing power.

Until India has a government in which policy is not made by bureaucrats, it will struggle to pull itself out of the Modi slowdown.

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One Response to “मनरेगा जैसे एक और दिशाहीन ‘ स्टीमूलस ‘ से किसी का भी भला नहीं होगा : Honestly, does India need a stimulus package? – rediff”

  1. October 8, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

    Actually ‘Dishaheen’ criticism does not make any sense at all. It is probably the most useful

    economic program run by this Govt. though it was worthless under UPA.

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