From the golden summers of 1991, when India started taking its baby steps towards the prosperity and inclusive growth, it has definitely come a long way now. Today we are fourth largest economy of the world, and this position is very contrasting to the fact that we were in the position of defaulting our loans to IMF and held the reserve which is just sufficient to support 3 weeks of imports just 20 years back. But this blog is not about investigating the reasons of success, rather it is about pondering whether India is capable to maintain this momentum for years to come or is there any dampening factor looming over us?
If we ask this question to 100 reasonable people, no doubt 90 will come up with Recession as the biggest threat to India's growth momentum. Today the whole world is so much interconnected to each other, that economic crisis in one spreads to other in no time. Therefore we saw our stock market crashing from 21000 levels to 7500 during the recession times. This was the period when many our computer genius serving the IT companies of India and MNC lost their jobs and those who escaped being fired, didn't got their annual increment. So the blame for this economic and political crisis was put on recession. But let me take this opportunity and make it clear once and for all, India was never into recession...we just faced a slowdown, where our growth rate which was touching 9.5% during the hey days of 2006-07, came down to 6.1%. As per the definition given in any economics book, "When a country suffers negative growth for two consecutive years, than only that country is called to be in recession" and that is what happened with United States and other developed countries of west. On the other hand because of the strong economic fundamentals and good banking policies, India came out of this period almost unhurt. Within a year our job market was back to the 2007 level and our sensex was touching 18000+ mark. So recession cannot stop our growth momentum, at the most it can only slow down our speed for a while...
For finding the actual problem, we don't need to dig ourselves into graphs and histograms of past economic activities, rather lift any day's newspaper, and we will find at least one of the news which talks about some or other forms of corruption. Especially from last one year, there has been a prominent rise in high profile corruption cases like CWG, 2G and Adarsh Scam. Now question which arises is why now there is so much brouhaha about such cases, India is not a first timer here. We rank 88th as per the World corruption Index. We have the experience of Bofors case, hawala and kargil, so why it is paining us this time. There may be multiple reasons:
- As per the latest census, 63% of our population are under 30 years of age and these people have seen the stupendous growth of India, they have seen big MNC's coming to India and opening the bundle of opportunities to them, they have seen the McDonald’s and Pizza Hut's of the world opening up in India and they have seen FDI's and FII's pouring in. They have seen a completely different India, which is respected by other countries of the world, so now they cannot let some corrupt people ruin this Image of India.
- Taking another statistics from 2011 census, there is a phenomenal growth of 9.2% in the literacy rate of India. So as more and more people became literate, more and more aware they become towards such scams.
Hence the problems which can derail our growth train is not external, it is something which is permeated within our country and eating it from inside. So what is the solution, again i can think of multiple solutions here, which need to be implemented in both short term and long term basis to address this issue:
- Empowerment is required, one of the basic reason why such corrupt people get away because of the slow speed of our jurisdiction, it takes such a long time to arrive at any decision that by the time all the evidences are forged in the favour of the culprit. If decision makers are sufficiently empowered, they can take quick decisions and justice can be made. Therefore i completely second the formation of Lokpal bill, this will be a good positive step in the direction of corruption less politics
- The next important step which needs to be taken is for long term solution and complete eradication of this problem. Today corruption is not only restricted to politics, it has spread across the circles of corporates, bureaucrats and various other governing bodies in the form of fraud and forgery. So importance of proper Governance needs to be imparted to people at position of power. They should understand, such forgery with accounts and taking bribe will of course do good for a short time, but in long run, this leads to far negative consequences. Once they understand the importance of ideal Governance and start practicing it, we can dream of corruption free India.
Intelligent Strategies and strong fundamentals have brought India to this level, where it is counted among the fastest developing nations of the world. After reaching such a level we don’t want ill interests of some greedy people to play a spoil sport for the whole country and push us back into the same old wells of poverty with a tag of Third world country. I hope the message is well understood by everyone....