Only Transparency And Technology Will Make India Superpower

By: Parmanand Pandey, Advocate, Supreme Court, General Secretary IPC (with inputs from Shreepal Singh)

The initial 30 days of Sri Narandra Modi as a Prime Minister have been more or less satisfactory. There have been many setbacks to him during this short period but they are not so important as to derail him from taking drastic steps for improving the economic, administrative situation and solving other problems of the country. To be fair in the matter, we must admit that today the country is a mess. This dismal condition of the country is a legacy that we have inherited from the past direction-less (or, misdirected) national governance spanning almost half a century. The truth of this statement (regarding the Indian dismal condition) is vouchsafed when we compare India with the leading countries of the world with a comparable population/size, like China, Russia, and U.S.A. etc.  We are far behind them in the matters of our people’s standard of living, education, defense, play in world affairs etc. Still, the ordinary people cannot be expected to find solace in the past fifty years’ mal-governance; ordinary people need, and need immediately, food to eat, cloths to wrap them up and houses to live in; they need immediate relief in the matters of inflation, corruption in administrative machinery, law and order etc. etc. On the part of Mr. Modi the drastic and immediate action is called for. How does he fare in these respects in his last hundred days in power? Let us examine.

The people have been expecting that he would be able to control the growing inflation to mitigate their sufferings. The people across the country, however, have welcomed his two immediate decisions; one is that no minister or even a Member of Parliament of his party would be able to appoint his Personal Assistant, Personal Secretary or Officer on Special Duty from among those who have worked earlier with UPA government or who happened to be their relatives.  Mr. Modi has also asked another important thing is to instruct his ministers not to indulge into the business of transfers and postings of bureaucrats.  Another thing, which he has done is to encourage the bureaucrats to bring to his notice if any attempt is made by the concerned ministers to stall the right decisions. Although it may not be very important one, yet it is quite significant one in that till now the bureaucrats have been ‘decision shy’ because they always thought that discretion was better part of the valor. Bureaucrats were made to become the sycophants and instead of working for the good of the people they have become self-servers and self-seekers. Officials are the instruments of carrying out the policies and programmes but they have virtually been converted into the tools of making money for themselves and their political masters. If Modi is able to change this mindset, it will go a long way and be a great service to the nation indeed.

We expect from Mr. Modi to do three things for the benefit for the common people. One is to make the entire system transparent. There should not be any hanky panky and whatever decisions are taken; the public should be informed about the reasons thereof. Secondly; they strength of any country lies in the economic prosperity. Manufacturing sector is the core to make the economy strong and vibrant. In this respect two important things should be kept in mind by Mr. Modi while putting the manufacturing industries/economy on rail: Firstly, all facilities and encouragement should be given to the entrepreneurs to adopt and invest in the latest, original, innovative, cutting-edge technologies, instead of old, junky and obsolete ones. Our universities, technical institutions and educational-pool of the country should be used to the hilt in this regard. Secondly, while every entrepreneur should be given the liberty to go for manufacturing according to his or her own capacity and targets, the manufacturer must be made accountable to the audit of the law and the society. For example, if 10 rupees have been spent of manufacturing a peace of any item then the manufacturer must display the cost of production and its selling price. The public i.e. the consumer should not kept in dark as to how much is the cost of manufacturing and how much is being charged from them. This will help in rooting out the corruption and illegal profiteering. This will also help the manufactures to be bold and not to give bribes to the corrupt officials. At the same time the officials will also be afraid of accepting the bribes.

At present an opaque system is working, which is commonly known as MRP i.e. maximum retail price system. This is very deceptive and it goes against the welfare and the interests of the common man. It helps only the dishonest businessmen and manufactures who have their own axes to grind. For example; if a pressure cooker’s production cost is Rs.250/ ,then in the name of MRP the general public is looted and compelled to pay three or four times more than the cost of production. The mind boggling profit is charged by the clique of brokers, retailers, wholesalers and the manufactures. If everything is displayed then there would be little chance of exorbitant pricing and exploitation.

Another example will help understand the nefarious game of duping the public. The potato or corn is purchased at the lowest possible price by dishonest manufactures from the farmers but their end products are sold at many times higher prices to the public. To be very precise if a potato is purchased at Rs. 1000 per quintal and maze at 1500 Rs. per quintal its end product  like potato chips  or cornflakes are sold at least 50 times higher than their original purchase prices.This type of anomaly is not found anywhere in the world. Unless it is done away with by adopting the stringent measures the disadvantaged section will continue to suffer and profiteers will roll into luxury by amassing huge of unaccounted wealth leading to generation of black money. And apart from it, the manufactures do not give any guarantee to the quality of their products. This is all due to lack of transparency. Another alarming situation is prevailing in the field of pharmaceutical companies. Different pharmaceutical companies are selling their medicines at very hefty prices by giving commissions and discounts, incentives and promotions to retail druggists, pharmacists, doctors, and medical representatives. One fails to understand why there is a huge difference in the cost of production of the medicines and their selling prices. What is most shocking is that they compromise with the quality of medicines in collusion with officials of the drug department and play with the lives and health of the people without any fear of being punished.That is why, there is the crying need of transparency, which we hope the Modi government to address it with the urgency that it deserves.

The same transparency is required to improve the functioning of the government and other organ of the State, like; the judiciary and the legislatures by introducing state-of the-art technology. Technology does not allow for any scope of the discretion and there is no doubt that where there is space for desecration for any official or minister that will breed to corruption. Therefore, the best way is to nip the corruption in the bud itself.

The third thing that is expected from the Modi government is to take bold decision on population control which is growing menacingly. Population explosion is the biggest threat to fight against poverty. Population bomb is bound to disrupt law and order, unity and integrity of the country. It is regrettable that all previous governments have felt shy of taking any effective measures to check the population of the country. The days are not far away when India will overtake its neighboring country China in 20 years’ time in respect of population. We conveniently forget the China has made the giant strides in the field of technology and manufacturing. Even the developed country like; Untied State of America, Canada, Australia, England and France are under the burden of the debts of China.

How come the China which was considered not long back a sleeping tiger has surged forward to become economic giant of the world? It is true that Indian cannot adopt the same methods which are adopted by China but there can be no denying the unless stern steps are taking it will very difficult to control the monster of population. The another point which we note is that the termite of black money has eaten most of its vitals of the country and the people are genuinely looking forward with bated breath that the black money that has been illegally stashed away to the foreign countries will be brought back soon without any let or hindrance. If Modi is taking all these steps then he will have the overwhelming support of the general public of the country.

India is, no doubt, a rich country with poor administration because of the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. As the saying goes that the bottle necks always start at the top never at the bottom. So the Prime Minster is expected to take care of the smooth and transparent functioning at the top level. If the right message goes at the top, It will undoubtedly percolate down to lowest level.

With these suggestions we are expecting the bright future for the country, which may also prove to be bright for Mr. Modi otherwise he will not be able to check the disappointment of the general public. He cannot, for long hide behind, the mistakes and shortcomings of the previous governments. People have reposed faith in him with high hopes and aspirations he must work to fulfill them.

 

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