India is currently going through second wave of economic transition. Various steps taken by Government of India including demonetization and GST implementation in addition to different social welfare measures have reshaped the Indian economy like never before. Being a democratic set-up, each action taken up the government is subjected to public and opposition tight scrutiny. It is therefore not an easy task to predict what and how Indian economy will be around a decade from now.
Bimal Jalan’s book “India Ahead – 2025 and Beyond”, however, has been the master work of an economist who has himself been at the helm of policy and economic affairs in the country. He is among the few who understands the intricacy of Indian economy well and hence presented both the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the decade to come.
Book has been divided into nine chapters and each chapter deals with different aspects which have direct or indirect impact on Indian economy. He has in very bold manner discussed the two maladies i.e. criminalization of politics and corruption in politics which hamper the economy progress.
Author advocates that at this moment India is best placed to achieve about 8 per cent or more growth rate and to eliminate poverty by improving public distribution system but it is necessary that India make decisive moves towards reforms and remove the procedural, political and administrative bottlenecks.
Mentioning India’s recently highly elevated position in ease of doing business index and being placed among top five countries to improve business environment, he claims that India has now potential to become one among the strongest economies of the world. The book calls for promoting India’s national interest on top irrespective of which party is in the power.
The chapter on ‘Definite agenda for political reforms’ mentions about the priorities that will make present system more accountable and for fast implementation of policies. Chapter on ‘Preserving unity in diversity in the parliament’ deals with parliamentary procedures and role of parties and calls for conferring more powers to the chairs of both houses of parliament to control unruly behavior of members and parties if that hampers parliament functioning.
Next two chapters calls for different steps required to stop entering of people with criminal background or convicted people to reach to parliament and to stop corruption which is fast penetrating and paralyzing the economy. Authors calls for transparency in decision making process.
Another chapter on ‘Enhancing the quality of life’ calls for various steps required for uplifting the society especially the unprivileged ones by improving nutrition, life expectancy and literacy in the society. Author here calls for increasing financial support in elementary education sector.
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