August , 2018
Democracy and public good
15:42 pm

Dr. Y. R. Singh

It is a well known fact that democracy is for the people and also by the people. In the past in India, it has been observed that because of the temptation of votes, the elected governments are not in a position to take unpopular and hard steps, especially before the elections. Sometimes steps are also taken which motivate people to vote in favour of a particular party.

These days’ elections are quite frequent in states and also for some seats in parliament on account of death or resignations, etc. Therefore to take unpopular steps to improve the economy and the steps which are needed for the betterment of the people are kept in abeyance or ignored. When we think of the present Government in India under the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, we feel that many of the people in the country are not happy with the various steps which the Modi Government took during the last four and half years, specially steps like 'demonetisation' and 'goods and services tax (GST).'

These steps created problems for some people in society, who have vested interest and play the devil’s role and are major obstacles for the healthy economy of the country. If you analyse the impact of demonetisation, many people have been affected like terrorist organizations. Earlier they used to get funds frequently from outside but now they are finding it difficult to mobilise funds in cash from various sources. Similarly, fake currency dealers on account of digital economy, are also feeling the stress and are also not in a position to handle their business smoothly, as it was earlier. When we speak of Hawala dealers - with almost all the money in account and a close watch being maintained by the government on their withdrawals, their business is also affected and they also try to create opinion against the Government from time to time.

Besides, the government also took various steps about reforms for educational institutions in private sector, these institutions used to get all capitation fee in cash and this was mostly unaccounted for. Their business also has been seriously affected on account of demonetisation and various other controls instituted by the various state governments.

The business of `real estate‘ is also well known for part payment in cash and now they find it difficult to convert their accounts for unaccounted cash and thus their business is also affected. Besides, in the real estate business, the prices have come down and they have hardly any buyer in the market. These facts are known to everybody but there was no courage to take steps for entailing these practices, which were affecting the economy.

Take the cases of some trusts and charitable institutions which were used for money laundering purposes. They are also affected due to steps taken by the government. The present Government has stopped large donations in cash and these trusts which are charitable institutions are not in a position to fulfil their primary agenda.

People engaged in the film industry have been also known for generating black money, except some genuine film makers. Now on account of demonetisation, they are suffering. The business of betting and gambling (except lottery) is banned and affecting a big turnover of the past.

Last but not the least many politicians have been playing with black money. Demonetisation has also affected them in a big way and now there is a hue and cry from them. With most of the subsidy connected to bank accounts, the agents, and middle man have been exposed and affected.

On all the above issues, action taken by the present government is in the public interest and for the welfare of the people and in the interest of the national economy in the long run. But these steps have created a lobby of people who are creating atmosphere against the present government and especially against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We strongly feel that steps taken by the present government are in the interest of the people and the national economy. If such steps are not taken immediately by the government now or in the near future, the future of the country will be in the dark and people ultimately will suffer.

Now, it is the time to rethink now on these burning/unavoidable issues and the people those who have strong national spirit should come forward and support the good steps of a present government which in the longer run will prove good for the welfare of the people and enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fulfil the target of achieving a healthy economy for our country.

Recently, there have been an agitation / wave from farmers for waiving agricultural loans in various states and in the view of the financial experts, such steps are not in the interest of the economy and may have serious impact in the long run. Political parties in the interest of votes are supporting such steps, which may be disastrous for the Indian economy and the economy of states may shatter.

In some cases, some people are also opposing the GST, which has provided a smooth working of accounting transactions. However, it has impacted those, who are only depending on cash transactions and avoiding government taxes. Maybe a part of a business people may be affected due to this. The GST has increased the tax collections which will ultimately help in the development of infrastructure of the county.  Thus unpopular steps, are also necessary sometimes, if we want India to be a World Power.

Dr. Y. R. Singh is the Executive Director of
Chamber of Indian Trade & Industry.

[The views expressed by the author in this article are his own.]


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