OLD VINE IN THE NEW BOTTLE OR ROOTEN
EGGS IN THE NEW BASKET!
EGGS IN THE NEW BASKET!
I never had the illusion about the PM, Modi’s tall claims of quantum leap of 9.5% growth in GDP rather than gradualism overtaking China, both ex-ante and ex-post, about the GDP growth in spite of rigging the base year to inflate the growth rate by 2.2%. The sings of slow growth had already been embedded in the failed neo-liberal economic policies as accepted by Nobel economists like Joseph Stieglitz and Paul Krugman. In fact, it delivered nothing to common man except writing off bad loans and taxes at the cost of the common man around the world since the worldwide economic crisis of 2008. Although early signs of sluggish growth were observed in India even before demonetisation Modi’s sycophants unsuccessfully tried to distract the failures by hijacking the issues by precipitating non-issues such as beef eating, Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Ram Mandir, right-wing changes in the curriculum and textbooks, purging educational bodies like UGC, ICSSR, ICHCR , Universities, etc., to induct RSS agenda.
However, some friends and foe of the BJP Mr Yashwant Sinha and Chidambaram and to great extent even the scattered opposition is blaming it entirely on the demonetisation and try to compare it with past regime under the UPA which is a big mistake. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the UPA and the NDA Governments led by Dr MM Singh and PM Modi as their economic policies’ adviser by and large in substance, if not in form (names) remained the same. For example, Dr MM Singh heavily relied on the advice of Prof Jagdish Bhagwati who is a close friend of Dr MM Singh and his sycophant Arvind Panagariya who was conferred a Padma Bhoshan by UPA II Govt who being pro-American latter shifted their loyalty to BJP and Modi, both suffered from the China obsession. Therefore, I am at a loss why Yashwant Sinha and Chidambaram woke up so late in the day to attack Modi on failure on the economic front. In fact, according to their own spokesman Modi has stolen their flagship program and merely renamed them. As to change of name of the Planning Commission was underway since the UPA II except UPA being inspired from China’s renaming their Planning body, it was contemplating it rename it as Reform Commission and Modi Govt has changed it to NITI AYOG (National Institute of Transforming India) to claim the originality. However, in reality, NITI AYOG turned out to be toothless and even Modi Govt continued to rely on the UPA II 13 Five Year Plan and his Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the UPA II Chidambaram budget.
The author, in response to Bhawati-Pangariya’s tall claims of 11.5% GDP growth after adjusting with the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) to boost that India was growing faster than China, characterised GDP growth under UPA was heading toward a Hindu rate of Growth (3-4%) and if adjusted for Green GDP it was tending to Zero Growth. If one applies the same yardstick to BJP Govt, it would be clear Indian economy no better as current GDP is @ 5.7% and if adjured from base year 5.7-2.2 = 3.5% < 4.8% of UPA II and if adjusted for Green GDP it is tending to a zero rate of growth. Indeed, in spite of rhetoric noting has changed in substance or fundamentally in the intervening period of UPAII to NDA I. In fact, disillusioned Modi let the former RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan to let go under mysterious circumstances and recently Panagariya parted with pleasure combined with the appointments of Urjit Patel as RBI Governor, Rajiv Kumar as Head of NITI AYOG and the constitution of PM Economic Advisory Council under Bibek Debroy along with Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy and Dr.. Ashima Goyal, and Ratan Watal (unknown in the mainstream economics profession) confirms that the Indian economy is back to square one. In layman’ language former friend of BJP, Mr Arun Shourie puts it very eloquently, “BJP = Congress + a Cow”! The future of Indian economy remains bleak.