Key Priority Areas that PM Modi must work upon in his second innings

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI)

The Indian electorate has delivered a massive mandate to the Narendra Modi-led BJP Government, now securely back in power at the helm of India’s political leadership, with an assured tenure up to 2024, perhaps beyond, if all goes well. The overwhelming majority secured by the BJP on its own in the just concluded Lok Sabha Elections augurs well for a stable period ahead, sans internal squabbling which is a prominent feature of coalition governments.

At the start of Modi’s second innings, some important questions come to mind.

•        How well will the Modi Government take advantage of this enviable position?

•        Will pre-poll promises be fulfilled effectively? 

•        Will his team of Ministers perform the way they are expected to and deliver great results which the people of India are longing to see?

•        Will the various shortcomings and failures of the last five years be truly compensated for?

•        Will the prevailing serious challenges on various fronts be met squarely and successfully?

•        Will the country’s overall socio-economic standards and quality of life improve dramatically over the coming five years?

•        Will societal peace and harmony improve and sustain?

•        Will the people of India have good reason to be proud of being Indians?

•        Will India attain a globally premier economic position in the coming years?

The answers to these primordial questions depends largely on how carefully the following deeply inter-related prospective initiatives and actions to be taken by the Government are addressed, and how our leadership chooses to deal with existential issues.

India’s Expectations

•        the preparation of a comprehensive National Reform Agenda

•        the way federal resources are mobilized and allocated

•        the way scientific decision making processes are followed at all levels

•        the system of delegation of apex level Government responsibilities to elected people’s representatives and devolution of operating powers with defined accountability.

•        the governance methodology

•        the way Centre-State relations are synergized

•        the national character, discipline and societal conduct we seek to engender in our people

•        the way we train, skill and encourage our youth to be gainfully employed

•        the way we work to optimise utilization of our fiscal, human and natural resources

•        the policies and programmes we embrace to achieve rapid socio-economic development

•        the encouragement we  give to promote national interests

•        the improved laws and procedures we lay down in all domains and at all levels

•        the oversight and regulatory systems we adopt

•        the new reward-punishment mechanisms we introduce; building more jails, if required

•        the way we involve and motivate people to complement the efforts of the Government by participative actions to usher improvement, and so on.

Seems a long and complex list! Well, unfortunately there is no short cut to achieving enduring success in a country as large and complex as India.

In the Chart given below I have illustrated the cycle of macro-economic activity, starting with the sourcing of mege-scale fiscal resources necessary to achieve socio-economic development and all manner of positive progress as a nation.

The inner cycle shows the plans and procedures necessary to realise the development phases shown in the outer circle.

Cascading Benefit to Country of Prudent Macro-Fiscal Investments

The recommended way forward would broadly be as follows:

A. Statement of National Objectives and Fixation of Targets

           1.        To make a concise 5-year Plan covering all facets of country’s requirements.

           2.        To specify State / Union Territory-wise numerical values of five-year targets, divided in to measurable and verifiable annual targets.

           3.        Fixation of tiered responsibilities and accountability, instituting stringent administrative oversight mechanisms.

          4.       Monthly performance review and financial audit and 3-level appraisal based on daily, weekly, monthly MICS (Management Information and Control Systems). Timely course correction plans.

           5.        Engagement of senior external domain experts to guide, advise and support Government in its attainment of defined goals.

B.       30 Most Important Areas which must be the PRINCIPAL PRIORITY for PM Narendra Modi

These 30 Most Important Areas require attention and action with a sense of great urgency.  These are not listed in any particular order of priority as all are important and urgent.

           1.        National Resource Mobilisation and Conservation.

           2.        Boosting Sustainable Employment in rural, urban and metro areas covering agro, industrial and services sectors.

           3.        Enhancing Programmes for Technical Education, Skill Development and Specialised Training through establishing new hi-tech SDCs (Skill Development Centres) in every viable District; reskilling programmes and Special Programmes to impart skills to differently abled youth.

           4.       Attracting significant FDI on sustained basis. Enhancing Forex Reserves.

           5.        Simplification of convoluted civil laws and introducing new system for abridged and tiered adjudication.

           6.       Introducing Legal Reforms. De-clogging all Courts and Tribunals. Curbing avoidable new litigation through effective conciliation and mediation mechanisms complementing arbitration processes.

           7.        Enhancing ease of doing business measured against international benchmarks.

           8.       Boosting infrastructure development.

           9.       Providing fillip to agro-sector through enhanced thrust on co-operative models and value-added agro products. Special thrust to safeguard livestock from harmful impact of anti-social activities; introducing modern identification and    traceability systems for all valuable species of livestock to benefit (i) actual  owners against stock theft and (ii) veterinary authorities in management of disease and assurance of food quality.

           10.     Enhancing output from industrial and services sectors.

           11.      Thrust on increasing exports from all sectors.

           12.      Announcing all-round Amnesty Schemes to recover fiscal resources expeditiously while providing freedom to concerned people from past entanglements and allowing them a fresh opportunity to progress.

           13.      Strengthening criminal justice system, while simplifying and expediting trial process.

           14.      Introduction of serious Banking Sector Reforms including the financial sector, aimed at (i) curbing NPAs, bank frauds and revenue leakages; and (ii) consolidation of PSU banks.

           15.      Increasing the role of Information Technology in supporting achievement of all objectives stated herein.

           16.     Reducing fiscal deficit, public debt and interest burden of government. Attaining accelerated growth rate in GDP based on robust, achievable Plans and Programmes to grow core sector industries by at least 10% per annum to realize such GDP growth targets.

          17.      Providing all deserving Indian citizens with the following basic amenities, which should be based on proof of unique Citizenship ID. The non-Indians (illegal refugees and unauthorized squatters) must be specifically excluded in these welfare schemes.
•        affordable housing
•        education and training
•        vocational support
•        medicare including specialised care
•        life insurance
•        electricity
•        drinking water
•        safety in society
•        freedom to lead an honourable life of their choice.

           18.     Eradication of poverty, uplifting people presently in the BPL (Below Poverty Line) categories.

           19.     Dramatically improve conservation and utilisation of all natural resources and earth resources, prioritisation of renewable energy and water resources. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

           20.     Special care of senior citizens in all economic strata of society via establishment of modern Old Age Welfare Homes in every District, appropriate pension schemes. Care of differently abled citizens, orphans, destitute women and abandoned populace.

           21.      Enhancing (i) external value of Indian Rupee; improving forex rate and (ii) intrinsic purchasing power. Streamlining currency and coin system with qualitative enhancements and improvements in nomenclature. Re-defining the role of currency in monetary transactions.

           21.      Simplifying direct tax laws, introducing world pioneering methods of facile resource mobilization,  completely devoid of both grift as well as revenue leakage.

           22.     Creating new framework to safeguard large and mega industrial and commercial undertakings in both public and private sectors to prevent distressed enterprises from imminent collapse, including developing new, sophisticated systems of apex level corporate oversight to pre-empt sickness, mismanagement, fraud or impact of external factors causing distress or disruption to business, via robust higher management procedures and adroit mechanisms. Dealing with unviable Public Sector Enterprises.

           23.     Improving living standards and quality of life, country-wide. Reducing income and societal inequity.

           24.     Curbing illicit financial outflows from the country.

           25.     Improving service conditions and benefits to defence, para- military and police personnel including retirees.

           26.     Introducing serious reforms in land and labour laws to prepare India for exponential growth.

           27.     Segregating Productive versus Unproductive Expenditure from Central Exchequer and tagging Revenue Resources appropriately matched via novel Ways & Means Accounts.

           28.     Regulating population growth and migration including deterring illegal immigration; strengthening borders to prevent infiltration. Decongesting urban areas. Improving demographic spread and balance.

           29.     Preventing national wastage in various forms, including reclamation and redevelopment of wasteland. Control air, water and noise pollution and the industrial effluents.

           30.     Disincentivising and pre-empting corruption and crime in any form at all levels through deep systemic correction.

C. Detailed Know-How and Working Plans for Action

I have already prepared specific, nonpareil, ready–to–deploy solutions for the above mentioned priority areas in slim workbooks. These workbooks, for each of the 30 Areas referred above, can be provided to Government within twenty four hours, upon receiving their official request.

© CSS Rao 2019 All rights reserved.

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