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India! I dare you to be rich

Category Archive: Sone Ki Chidiya movement

The four requirements of political success, like the four wheels of a car

A car without ALL four wheels won't go very far at all. 

These are the four wheels. They are self-explanatory.

After identifying leadership as the key gap, I established FTI to focus on leaders first. That has provided the greatest "bang for the buck" so far among all liberal political groups. Not much of a 'bang', you say, but look at the extremely limited inputs so far, and consider the outputs. The leverage is quite significant. FTI, being the clearest of all on ideological positions, has continued to make progress, despite temporary setbacks. It is CRUCIAL to maintain ideological clarity, and not get confused on the way.

But FTI was never A one wheel car. It was the first step. The idea was that once a critical mass of leaders has been assembled, other 'wheels' will fall in place.

Lok Satta has focused on grassroots work and ONE leader. That model has obvious limitations, and Lok Satta's struggles attest to the limitations of this strategy.

Jago spent a lot of resources, mainly through ONE leader. That, too, failed.

Navbharat focused on grassroots work for a very limited time plus ONE leader. That model, too, has serious limitations.

It is clear that without a national reform movement, the liberal agenda won't go very far. Resources will come AFTER the national movement.

So the successful sequence will be (broadly speaking):

LEADERS > NATIONAL MOVEMENT > SOME local work etc. + resources > success.

FTI's sequencing is correct. Leaders first, then movement (SKC movement), then other things. All this may take time, but there is no short cut to success. ALL other methods will fail.

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SKC agenda suggestions from an eminent person: Not bad. Some I’ll add to the agenda.

I received a few suggestions from an eminent person. My analysis in blue highlight below. (Note that my analysis – which is based on world-best economic principles - is consistent with the kind of advice I provide in my official role. This is my bread and butter.) 

Overall, I'd rate this set of suggestions as an IMPROVEMENT to India's pathetic situation. The individual suggestions range from EXCELLENT to POOR (e.g. there needs to be far less faith in bureaucratic direction!). I'll make a couple of minor improvements to the SKC agenda based on this. Thanks to the person who sent me this.

=====THE SUGGESTIONS====

My three main points indicating thrust of new economic and governance reforms for incorporation in the consensus manifesto of all national political parties  are listed below:

1.  Restructure India's industrial policy (both at the level of central government and at the State governments) giving pride of place to the role of revamping the industrial sector with manufacturing as the prime driver of generating the most needed thrust on productivity enhancing job-led growth. Creating productive employment through labour intensive manufacturing sectors would be the best way of increasing growth with inclusion.  [Sanjeev: I disagree with a government having ANY industry policy. The government must be neutral and allow the market to respond to changing situations. Industry policy assumes an ACTIVE role of government in 'guiding' investment. That's a sure way to destroy wealth. Let markets decide where to invest, based on profit-making opportunities which can NEVER be known to a bureaucrat sitting somewhere in a "planning commission". Facebook/Google were not creations of any planning commission, nor was General Electric. Don't give our servant (government) ANY role in deciding what industry should exist or not.] This will further require strategic shift in our national manufacturing policy making Indian industry becoming increasingly internationally competitive and incrementally export oriented. Such a shift in our industrial policy will also reduce our Current Account Deficit. This will become feasible by changing our present economic regulatory policies to incentivize existing small and medium enterprises to move to larger sized industrial units in carefully selected niche products. Larger sized firms employing more than 100 (even more than 1000) workers in selected skill intensive value added manufacturing products using the state of the art international technology adhering to India’s international competitive advantage will enable India to enhance productivity nearer to international levels through reaping economies of scale. Time has come for the Indian manufacturing firms to produce globally more competitive manufactured products (as China so successfully demonstrated). For this to become reality, the government regulatory system at all levels of governance must remove all existing obstacles including obstructive labour laws faced by existing firms for scaling up their operational needs for optimal employment levels. The same strategic shift also needs to be extended to India’s services sector by generating higher value added jobs through national skill development programme[Sanjeev: Agree entirely with the need to remove regulatory obstacles on ALL industry, regardless of size. There also needs to be a massive skill-development programme, but NOT through government. Government can - at best - provide low cost loans for students, but the entire system must be in the private sector, responsive to demand. This is part of the SKC agenda.]

Effective implementation of this paradigm shift in our national industrial policy will require close government-industry partnership (including public enterprises) and restoring and retaining full trust and confidence between the government and the industry.  [Sanjeev: NO! The government is a servant, a regulator, NOT a partner. Its job is to enforce laws, not to promote specific industries.]

2. Coming to the do-able actions for substantially enhancing implementation capabilities of the government for more efficient governance, the section on “Single window clearance” needs to be strengthened by specifying least time taking deadlines acceptable to the government’s regulatory institutions with their commitment and enforcement to provide automatic clearance of the investment proposals after the expiry of the specified deadline for approval. [Sanjeev: Absolutely agree. The SKC agenda insists on a very significant and measurable reduction in red tape. There need to be targets, and international best-pratice needs to be adopted.] The most important point of action for reviving higher growth is to provide business friendly environment for rapidly increasing the rate of investment in the Indian economy both from domestic investors and from the foreign direct investors in all potentially profitable sectors (which have been held up due to slowing demand and inordinate delays in granting approvals in an environment of political uncertainty). [Sanjee: Totally agree. This is part of SKC agenda.] There is a further need to emphasize the provision of incentives to substantially increase investment in supportive critical infrastructure sectors (including power; roads; ports; airports; and telecommunications using the latest IT-enabled services). The deficiencies noted in the delivery of anticipated results from the present Public-Private Partnership projects need to be identified and removed. [Sanjeev: Totally agree. This is part of SKC agenda, but will rephrase.Simultaneously, domestic savings rate needs to be increased to finance productive investment. [Sanjeev: Totally disagree. There is NO role for government in individual savings or consumption decisions. Let the environment favourable to investment be first created. People will AUTOMATICALLY prefer to save to get higher returns for their future. Artificial sops/ subsidies/ tax relief for savings will destroy wealth. Put the horse before the cart, not the cart before the horse.]

3.  To reduce the unparalleled growth in the corruption and in the black money, reducing/eliminating the discretionary powers of the concerned Ministers or the Empowered Group of Ministers and replacing them with the genuine non-collusive auctioning procedure with reasonable reserve price will be of great help in providing sound market orientation to the flow of investments in sectors like spectrum allocation (validated through the most recent auction of 2G spectrum) and natural resources including mining. [Sanjeev: Absolutely agree. This has been clearly stated in the SKC agenda

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Big events for political liberalism in India – the Titanic is starting to move

I've tried my best to budge the Titanic called India that has hit the iceberg of Socialism and is steadily sinking for the past 65 years.

However, my job is not just to prevent India from sinking, but to fix the holes, and to change its direction entirely. 

All very simple. Not.

For 15 years, I've huffed and puffed, to no avail. The "intellectual" liberals of India are great at writing articles and books (and magazines) but useless in ORGANISING a liberal party.

The Freedom Team was the solution for this huge problem, so I spent a lot of time on it. Not bad but only a very few members of FTI are genuine leaders who not only understand the problems of India but can explain the solutions and enthuse others to do something about it. This is not their fault, just the way our system works: it doesn't produce leaders.

The other day, however, Prof. TK Jain (IIM Ahmedabad graduate) spoke out very well in Rajasthan on TV about FTI and Sone Ki Chidiya movement. A few short snippets:


The entire interview on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dimzggeDyEo

​Yesterday and today, the Nation Building Meet II is being held at the India International Centre, convened by Varun Arya, graduate of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad. I am informed that Gurcharan Das attended and made a strong plea for a national liberal party and received strong support from the 100+ participants.

Further, today, a fairly large event is expected to take place in Jantar Mantar where many former AAP members are assembling to look for REAL SOLUTIONS, and around 500 copies of the Hindi Version of a summary of the Sone Ki Chidiya vision will be distributed. This event has already been covered by two TV channels, and more coverage is expected soon. [Download the PDF of the Hindi version of the SKC vision here]

I do hope that all this indicates the BEGINNING OF THE TURNAROUND in India's fortunes. From socialism to liberalism, from slavery (to politicians and bureaucrats) to freedom. And total commitment to religious freedom and the refusal to allow religion to enter the sphere of politics or government.

Btw, for those impressed with the "Modi model", it is pure baloney (source). NOT the solution to India's problems.

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Draft plan for delivery of remaining Rs.3.5 lakhs of Uttarakhand flood relief funds – for comment

Please provide your comments on this plan proposed to be implemented by the Sone Ki Chidiya Federation in the next few days.

The SKC Federation is required to disburse the remaining (about) Rs.3.5 lakhs of Uttarakhand flood relief funds by 31 March. The following draft plan has been prepared. Please provide comments in the next two days, to help refine the plan.

====

It was decided that remaining Uttarakhand relief funds received during the operation needs to be co-coordinated with some local organization.

Dr Radesh Suri informed about planned program of Bharat Vansham Seva Sansthan. 3 days function at rishikesh has been planned. The details are as follow-

First day – 27 Mar 2014 – Plantation of trees, distribution of do thdonations. Chief Guest- DIG, Raja Babu Singh

Second day – 28 mar 2014 – Medical camp & counseling session

Chief Guest – Dr S Pandey, PFI.

Third day – 29 mar 2014 – Foundation laying  stone far temple & inauguration of Asharm building & Bhandara  for locale. Chief Guest- Mr. Harish Rawat CM, Mr.Kanjawal, speaker Assembly

Salient points 

1-    More than 300 people coming from pan India    

2-     On 29 mar, Bhandara has been organized for 5000 people 

3-     Medical camp & council session will be awaited by local 5000 people  

Promoting body –

1-    Global development foundation.

2-    Sone Ki Chidiya Federation (can also join if approved)

Activities –

1-    Souvenir being published, 5000 copies: SKCF/FTI Advertisement can be given costing Rs 18,000/-

2-    Medical camp – Distribution of medicine –Rs 50,000/-

3-    Counseling session –counselors –   Radesh suri, P Sureshan, Ram Atri, KK verma: Facilitation fees &express – Rs 50,000/-

4-    Distribution of cloths to poor flood affected locals – Rs 50,000/-

5-    Scholarship to students Rs 1 Lacs

6-    Mementos for SKCF –  Rs 20,000/-

7-    Transporation  logistics, – Rs 30,000/

Banners

                 – SKCF

                  – FTI

Total expenditure planned – Rs 3,18,000/-

Ram K Atri conveyed that these tasks should be divided in two parts.

Final recommendations-

1.     Rs 1.5 lac may be distributed earlier after Holi i.e. around 23 Mar 2014. – Mr Ram K Atri/Sureshan

2.     Rs 1.7 lacs may be distributed to flood affected people through the program organized by Bharat Vansham Seva Sansthan. – Dr Radesh Suri/KK Verma/Sureshan

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My key message to Swami Ramdev is now part of BJP main document. Will wait to see if SKC agenda is fully included.

In December 2012, in my speech and discussions with Swami Ramdev [speech is under "who am I" on the top] I emphasised a number of things, but the main was this:

जहाँ की सरकार हो व्यापारी वहां  की जनता हो भिखारी.

This message, which has been on my blog for the past five years, is a CORE message of classical liberalism. 

Swami Ramdev not only took on board the Sone Ki Chidiya logo from me for his vision document but specifically inserted this into his document (which can be downloaded from here).

This is what his agenda, which had a NUMBER of points from my hand-written notes (and talk) that I gave to Swami Ramdev, said. This was entirely written at the last minute after discussions with me:

I'm delighted to see that this message has now been given prominence in BJP's agenda.

I've been constantly sending a copy of the SKC agenda to BJP think tanks, but I'm waiting to see whether other KEY aspects of the agenda (such as governance reforms) are incorporated.

Without the SKC reform agenda being incorporated IN FULL, there is no hope for India. Let's not fool ourselves about this basic truth.

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Request for comment on further revision of Sone Ki Chidiya reform agenda

A fresh version has been uploaded today.

Tracked changes version here (Word only).

We've recently had a vibrant debate re: four points sent over by Ashok Gautam on behalf of Anna Hazare. All four points were accommodated in an improved form. ALL 17 goals of Anna Hazare will be exceeded (not just met) by the current draft SKCF agenda.

In the meanwhile, Gurcharan Das had an excellent article.

As expected, almost everything in that article was already part of the SKCF agenda. I'd have liked more focus on governance reforms (electoral funding system/ bureaucratic change) since they are far more important than any other. Without that we do not have either integrity in public life nor the capacity to deliver.

I also don't agree creating any labour welfare fund (with contributions from employers and government ) to finance transitory unemployment and re-training. I believe there should be only one general welfare process (negative income tax based) for everyone, purely contingent on deep poverty. All training, etc. needs should be met through other generic processes. No specific labour-based "schemes" are needed. The market will figure out the answers. Bureaucrats have no magic wand.

Some suggestions had been made last week on my blog as well, plus I had thought up some opportunities for improvements re: public toilets, etc.

I've also framed the local government institutions with full professionalism and accountability to the local community, as Poorna Swaraj. These are rock-solid professionally managed democratic institutions, not the weak and tedious/impractical institutions canvassed by AAP.

All changes are visible through tracked changes.

By now this agenda not only includes my key learnings but outcomes of the extensive debates on India Policy Institute, the Swatantra Bharat Party agenda, the Forum for Fast Justice agenda, Navbharat Party agenda, Ashok Desai's insights, Gurcharan Das's key insights, insights from a 4-day intensive meeting at Haridwar in April 2013, insights from the Nation Building Meet in March 2013 and inputs from debates and discussions with hundreds of people.

I'd urge everyone to widely circulate this agenda to everyone in India, so we can get comments/objections as soon as possible.

Please do spare time to read/review/provide feedback.

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