The Gathering Storm

The Indian govt. came out with a 'white' paper on the 'black' money. Anybody who ever works in Indian IT knows what a white paper is. In most cases, it's a charade. It's a mishmash of weekend google-ing and some lazy re-phrasing. Same has been the case with the govt.'s white paper. A white paper for the sake of white paper. This government has become an epitome of ineptitude and 'one step forward and two step back'. This is not the time to shake this off as pangs of coalition and fractured polity. If you can't perform there is no compulsion to stay put. They can very well move out. It is this self-serving and meek behavior that is causing such a policy logjam that is detrimental to modern capitalistic environment. India is no more a dangling juicy piece of meat for which investors are willing to wait on the sidelines. Today's money is 'hot money'. It just does not wait. It flows somewhere else. Besides the new dynamics of investment, today fiscal scenario is nothing short of precarious. The balance of payment is acute, trade deficit is nearly 140$ billion annually. Gold & crude imports is bleeding India fiscal situation. Rupee is not finding a bottom. Inflation is showing no signs of abating. The euro crises does not sound as remote as Europe. The high interest rate is making private companies cut short on capacity expansion. Policy paralysis on reforms, environmental litigation, subsidy and fiscal rationalization is grinding the wheels of economy to halt. On top of this, scams and bureaucratic safe play is burning the candle on the other side. This is when huge segments of youth joining the workforce. Somebody needs to show spine and put the regional satraps to size and break this logjam. If a white paper needs to come, then it needs to come on how many jobs will not be created if the economy slips couple of percentage. How many people will not be pulled out of poverty if critical reforms remain stuck. This is what is the need of the times is.

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