Thursday, January 20, 2011

Liberals in UPA government

Sauvik has already commented on what Niranjan wrote: 
  • The motives behind the schemes to provide guaranteed jobs and food cannot be questioned. But the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. These schemes will push up food prices and also harm public finances.
What is even more interesting and in fact exuberantly feeling comes, when Niranjan used the words “outstanding economic liberals in government”. However, the meaning of liberals here may slightly vary from the understanding of the word “liberals” as such. Is there any one in the present UPA government? Of course I am aware of whom he refers!!
  • No reforms have been rolled back and economic policy is nowhere as interventionist as it was during the Indira Gandhi years, but it is quite clear that the UPA political leadership does not have a deep commitment to economic reforms despite having some outstanding economic liberals in government.
  • First, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put his foot down and rejected the ridiculous suggestion by the influential National Advisory Council (NAC) that wages paid for work on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should be on a par with the minimum wages in each state, a move that would raise rural wages without any commensurate increase in productivity as well as put an immense strain on government finances. Second, a committee on food security set up by the Prime Minister and headed by economist C. Rangarajan rejected the NAC proposal that three out of every four families should be covered by the proposed right to food law.

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