It was the year 2007, when, in order to understand the impact of Centrally Sponsored Schemes that I along with my team did extensive field tours and impact assessment. These included Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). What fascinated me...
If we introspect the 25-years of economic reforms that started in 1991, I would say that there has been an erroneous debate, which is generated by some who think that the whole debate is between: are you pro-reform or are you pro-poor? The subject itself and the question, which is raised in this debate is wrong. One will never get the right answer, because the question itself is erroneously framed.
The progress of India was conceived as a chariot that would run on two wheels. One, the wheel of economic reforms and two, the wheel of governance reforms. While the wheel of economic reforms has progressed virtually unimpeded over the last 25-years or more, the wheel of governance reforms with respect to the bulk of our people has had a very rough journey.
Mani Shankar Aiyar
What China did in 1978, we did in 1991 and both have travelled a long distance since then. China, at $10 trillion today stands as second largest economy while India is at $2 trillion aspiring to be $20 trillion by 2025.The path pursued by both the economies has been the same-reforms. So, there is no question on whether or not we need reforms.
The Vajpayee government took the reform process forward in different directions, including trade, foreign investment, disinvestment, insurance, civil aviation, telecommunications, electricity, roads and education. These reforms laid the groundwork for the national economy's growth rate climbing from 6 to 8 per cent and beyond in the 2000s.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy
Though we have passed the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments transferring 29 subjects to the urban and rural local bodies, the needed effect is yet to be felt because functions, functionaries and funds – 3F's, they are not fully devolved to the local bodies.These need to be attended to followed by persuading states to take it forward. Empowerment is the need of the hour and there is no denying the fact that the real democracy in India resides at the grassroots.
M Venkaiah Naidu
It took over 45 years after the attainment of freedom to push the agenda of giving constitutional status to our urban local bodies. But the 74th Constitution Amendment Act left it to the states to decide to what extent powers will be given to the elected bodies, generally referred to as the third level of governance.
The efforts to usher financial inclusion have been recorded since nationalisation of State Bank of India in 1955 followed by nationalisation of other banks in 1969 and later in 1980. Other important measures included instituting priority sector lending, and issuing Kisan/General Credit Card. In the earlier years, urban areas had significantly large number of bank branches compared to rural areas.