Solutions to Economy, Not Politicising Agenda
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged the Prime Minister to call an all-party meet on the prevailing economic situation in the country, where the important issue of disinvestment of profit making public sector units (PSU) should be discussed. There is nothing wrong in Mamata’s demand, but, the moot question here is whether an all-party meet will be able to suggest the remedies that Indian economy needs now? Definitely not; the meet will only be used to corner the government for its failure to arrest the downward slide of the economy. The participants in the meet will never admit the fact whether its rise or fall of Indian economy, they are equally responsible for the economy as the ruling government. Indian opposition has never believed in constructive criticism. Opposition parties in India have always preferred to put the entire blame on the ruling side even at the slightest indication of failure.
Bringing the economy back on track must be a collective responsibility of all political parties. The responsibility is even bigger for those parties that are in power in different states of the country. For a country like India where federalism is practiced, it is not only the responsibility of the Centre to make the economy strong, but the states are equal partner in this endeavour. One should remember that as a nation India can progress economically only when all the states steadily contribute to the economy. But in reality, it has never happened. States have instead increased non-planned expenditure by leaps and bounds while regularly pleading for more financial assistance from the Centre. Even the money allocated for development purposes are spent on paying salaries of government employees. Every other day one will find finance ministers from various states of India camping in Delhi to request special assistance from the Centre. One thing can be safely said here, the Indian states have never behaved responsibly in financial matters. Even after the new economic policy was introduced, barring a handful, most states failed to attract any substantial investment from any quarters. West Bengal is no exception. Since coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee’s government has indulged more on populist measures than improving state’s economy. As a matter of fact the West Bengal government has gone to the extent that no other governments have gone before. It provided financial help to clubs and organisations where people only gather to spend their free-time. Everyone understands that this was an effort to attract the unemployed youths towards the ruling party. Every political party has the right to expand its support base. But when that is done at the expense of state’s exchequer, questions should be raised about their sincerity to make country economically strong.
This is what the opposition should realise before demanding all party meet, their own discrepancies and unconstitutional pasts. The opposition has every right to oppose government policies and should use the parliament to express its disagreement with the government. However, the need of the hour is to work together instead of indulging in blame game.