Swami Vivekananda had said that “the entire wealth of the world would not eliminate the poverty of one village of India as the people are not helping themselves”, people are lazy, indisciplined, and there is lack of unity. So every Bharatwasi has to introspect and judge himself and needs to ask the hard questions “Am I performing? Am I accountable? Am I responsible? Am I honest? Am I relatively honest? Am I absolute honest? Am I discharging my duties wherever I work? Is absolute honesty or relative honesty or corruption retarding the growth?”
Corruption is not the only reason for such poor state of affairs; it is also due to poor performance. There can never be absolute honesty. Commitment to perform and to work is lacking in majority of the population. Majority are concerned with rights and not duties. In Mahabharata, an epic of Sanatan Dharma, Yudhisthira, eldest of the Pandava brothers, was called Dharmaraj – Righteous king. To be righteous by not breaking his vows, he had witnessed evils and injustice being done even to a woman. Later Lord Krishna had explained to him that his actions were not righteous. He had to suffer. Lord Krishna had to break his vow for establishing righteousness and get killed the evil class. Honest Bharatwasis are not discharging their duties due to the fear of being marked as corrupt. To be safe, do nothing is becoming the norm of the day. Work done with honesty with assumption, perception and circumstances may be viewed differently on being haunted with change of perception, assumption, circumstances, and populist demand.
Transparency International 2017 corruption index shows that corruption in many countries is still strong. The Philippines, India, the Maldives and others are the among the worst faring states. Political parties cannot run without funds. Their ostentatious and exorbitant expenses are evident to all. Political workers and supporters have to also run their families. For that fund is needed.
Despite all our shortcomings, India has certainly progressed after independence. But growth is not to the extent required to feed and create employment for 1.27 billion population. Unemployment, drought, flood, imbalance of power supply (surplus–deficit), non-availability of power in large number of villages, farmers’ suicides, poor infrastructure, poor irrigation, crop management and crop diversification, poor agriculture infrastructure etc. are results of poor performance, poor accountability and responsibility, mismanagement and corruption, and fear psychosis are holding back initiative, entrepreneurship and performance with righteous.
Uncontrolled and unplanned urbanisation is taking its toll. Cities are congested, dirty and lack basic amenities. Slums are cropping up. Yet we want to beautify our cities as we want to imitate other cities of the world. Open foods exposed to infection are being sold despite having health inspectors and authorities. Undue delay in manifold and numerous approvals is also one of the reasons for good assets becoming stressed assets.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a landmark informal summit. Xi Jinping has been declared China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, modern China’s founding father. Both countries are emerging as global superpowers. Their relations have to be cordial. They together account for one-third of global population and have big markets. The agenda contained the 73-day military stand-off in Doklam last year, an offshoot of an unsettled border dispute from the 1962 India-China war, trade balance between two countries, their visions and priorities, their national interests and development without entangling with each other, global current and future situations. There should be strategic guidance to build trust, peace and tranquility in the India-China Border Region. Modiji has the vision to understand Chinese expansionism from the Chinese perspective. Buddhism is the largest religion in China. It is for peace and Ahimsa (non-violence). Economic strength is the key driver of power. According to the Asian Develop-ment Bank (ADB), infrastructure needs in developing Asia and the Pacific requiring $1.7 trillion per year for growth. China has funds. India needs to build up its economic strength. India needs to expand its trade with China towhich China has agreed.
China is investing in India. It has great opportunities to buy potential stressed assets in process of insolvency, as it has been doing worldwide. Trade imbalance is unsustainable in the long run. China has an advantage due to large scale production, high productivity, low rate of interests, low power tariffs, good infrastructure, and ease of doing business in reality, and not on paper. Chinese products are cheaper and now they no longer suffer from the earlier stigma of poor quality and standard. India’s trade deficit with China stood at $51.11 billion in 2016-17. China imports many items from different countries, but not the same from India. There are technical issues which China has imposed. It becomes difficult for SMEs to win over that. This new tactic is to restrict import instead of imposing tariffs.
Standard & Poor’s and Fitch credit rating agencies have kept sovereign rating for India unchanged at the lowest investment grade of ‘BBB-’, with a stable outlook, weak fiscal, lagging governance standards, manifold approvals but improving business environment. Fitch has commented on falling net FDI inflows at $ 23.7 billion on the first three quarters of FY 18 from $ 30.6 billion a year earlier, insufficient planned infusion of $ 32 billion capital in public sector banks and high government debt of 69% of GDP in FY18. However, Moody’s Investors Service had raised its sovereign rating for the country from the lowest investment grade of BAA3 to BAA2 and upgraded the outlook from the stable to positive expecting economic and institutional reform for high growth potential. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar expects India’s economy to grow by at least 7.5% in 2018-19 as investment is going to increase.
To keep unemployment and social tensions away, the economy needs to create 8-12 million jobs a year. In view of the low, rather negligible private investment and marginal public investment, large army of companies both large and medium companies being in the process of insolvency to liquidation, creation of jobs appears to be difficult. Investments on the rural economy and manufacturing, and also reviving sick/stressed assets can address the jobs issue and can fill the widening gap of economic equality.
India needs to cut interests to boost investments and make products globally competitive and meet the challenge of low priced products from other countries, specially China.
There is global demand of highly skilled, skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled classes of workers, especially women like nurses, gardeners, and accountants. National education system needs to have drastic changes. Let there be one standard of national examination instead of manifold authorities to hold the examinations. Allow educational institutions to be set up in private sector without multiple approvals. Each stage poses not only problems but leads to unprecedented delay causing good assets to become bad assets. No responsibility and accountability is fixed. India has to move millions of people off land into some kind of jobs.
Oil prices at $75 a barrel is expected to affect the trade and economy of many countries leading to inflation and trade deficit. The US has to slow down probably from 2.5% economic growth to 1.5%. Europe also has to slow down. Many economies including the US’s are cutting down corporate tax rates to stimulate investments.
Stock market edged higher. There was a strong global market rally and better earning. Corporate market outpaced the impact of rising oil prices and rupee volatility. Reliance Industries’s high profits and IT companies’ results have strong influence on the market. TCS now has $100 billion worth market capitalisation.
But the revival of private investment looks difficult. Corporates are in heavy debts. Balance sheets are weak. The Reserve Bank of India report shows that there is about 25% of unutilised capacity. Lenders are not only cautious, but want to refrain from lending. The working capital situation has worsened mainly on account of increase in inventory level and debtors. Banks’ lending has declined by 5.2% in FY17. Recent RBI guideline to declare accounts with one day delay in payment as ‘distressed’ is not practical. The RBI is perhaps reviewing it.
In the battlefield, perceiving the Kali Yuga, and the effect of the Dwarpar Yuga, Lord Krishna had to inspire his disciple Arjuna to fight, and kill for establishing righteousness. He had asked Arjuna to work hard with devotion and righteousness, selflessly, and fearlessly without expecting of fruits of work. God is with those who work with devotion, righteously, fearlessly, and selflessly for the progress and holistic development of the Nation, and the world. In the journey of discharging one’s duties, one may have to pass through the pangs of pain, humiliation and what not, but those cannot be roadblocks for a determined soul. Let all countrymen rise like Arjuna and carry out their duties and let they be guided by Lord Krishna God in the form of their conscience. Through Karma, hard work with devotion one can have liberation and salvation.