May , 2024
India’s 2024 Elections: Is it a fight between a macro & micro view of development?
15:39 pm

Buroshiva Dasgupta

The seven phase massive election process in the largest democracy of the world is on; and the churn throws up hope as well as despair. When the bubble of election propaganda settles down, we only hope we do not land on mother earth with a thud.

The foreign media, which is always suspected to run down India’s achievements, is strangely saying good things about the country and its future to be decided after the elections. The Economist, for example, in its latest issue writes: “India, the world’s fastest-growing big country, is expanding at an annual rate of 6-7%. New data show private-sector confidence at its highest since 2010. Already the fifth-largest economy, it may rank third by 2027, after America and China. India’s clout is showing up in new ways”.

The world is viewing India with new eyes. The Economist continues “If you are looking for “the next China”—a manufacturing-led miracle—it isn’t India. The country is developing at a time of stagnating goods trade and factory automation. It therefore needs to pioneer a new model for growth. One pillar of this is familiar: a massive programme of infrastructure that knits together a vast single market. India has 149 airports, double the number a decade ago, and is adding 10,000km of roads and 15GW of solar-energy capacity a year. Some of this infrastructure is intangible, including digital payments, modern capital markets and banks, and a unified digital tax system. All this allows firms to exploit national economies of scale”.

The services sector has been the growth engine of new India. “A second, more novel pillar is services exports, which have reached 10% of GDP. Global trade in services is still growing and Indian IT firms have marketed “global capability centres”—hubs that sell multinationals R&D and services such as law and accounting.”

The cash remittances build up India’s strong foreign exchange reserves. And this too does not go unnoticed in the world’s new perceptions about India. The Economist adds: The economic model’s final pillar (is) a new type of welfare system in which hundreds of millions of poor Indians receives digital transfer-payments. New data suggest the share of the population living on less than $2.15 a day in 2017 prices, a global measure of poverty, has fallen below 5% from 12% in 2011.”

India’s emphasis on infrastructure began on a humble note when Atal Behari Vajpayee announced the ‘golden quadrangle’. Over the years, it has grown into a massive reality. The entire country is now crisscrossed with six or eight lane highways. It has turned into a major election plank of the ruling BJP. The example of China’s ‘one belt, one road’ (OBOR) on the global scale, has been turned inwards by India to knit up its far flung territories. This successful ‘macro’ view of development of the country has provided the ruling party a definite edge over its tottering opposition in the ongoing elections.

The only rival against this macro development scheme of the BJP is perhaps the ‘micro’ view of development implemented successfully by West Bengal, through its ‘Kanyashree’ and allied schemes. Here again we see a reflection of the ‘universal basic income’ (UBI) scheme, suggested by Nobel laureate economists like Abhijit Bandopadhayay and Amartya Sen. The macro view of the BJP is perhaps facing its toughest rival in West Bengal’s  micro ‘success’.

Politics is the quintessence of economy. In other words, the parties will win on the success of the economic schemes adopted for development. India at present is a labo-ratory of micro and macro schemes of de-velopment. It will make a mark in the world when the two visions go hand in hand.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.