Friday, December 27, 2013

Corporate India's wish-list is not India's reform wish-list

Times of India carries a wish-list of reforms for the next government to get "growth and development back on track" from some of the distinguished "thought leaders and captains of industry". I am not sure whether this is a wish-list for 'India' or for 'corporate India'.

It is staggering that improving regular governance and public service delivery, poor quality of school education, skills development, universal health care (aside from the Professor), universal social safety net, and so on do not get even a passing mention. In fact, none of the measures proposed have anything to do with rural development. This a testament to how detached corporate India has become from the vast majority of India. It also explains corporate India's attraction for economic growth, with little concern for its distributional consequences.  

I have no issues with corporate leaders championing their private business interests. But the problem starts when purely partisan lobbying masquerades as promotion of national development. What is in India's national interest goes much beyond what is good for corporate India. And evidently "captains of (Indian) industry" are not exactly the best proponents of "general national interest"

1 comment:

KP said...

Dear Gulzar,

Your past few posts have been interesting - ending the year (possibly with this post) on a note that refocuses on the narrowness of the 'vision' thing in our public debates.

An elite that privileges an economic view can only offer suggestions that are just as bland.

The recent elections have shown that economic concerns ( broadly about survival, in our country) are not the concerns of business.

The FDI mantra we have been chanting does not even begin to address the gaping leakages / pilferage within our system. Calling for 'more' without calling for 'better' is self-serving.

I think Catch 22 explains the problem / solution and its limitations better - here's a quote from Catch 22 Chapter 18

"“‘It’s meningitis,’ he called out emphatically, waving the others back. ‘Although Lord knows there’s not the slightest reason for thinking so.’
‘Then why pick meningitis?’ inquired a major with a suave chuckle. ‘Why not, let’s say, acute nephritis?’
‘Because I’m a meningitis man, that’s why, and not an acute-nephritis man,’ retorted the colonel. ‘And I’m not going to give him up to any of your kidney birds without a struggle. I was here first.”

End quote.

Best Wishes for the New Year.

regards, KP.