After the fig leaf dropped off

Time to demonstrate those ‘reformist credentials’

Now that the Communists are off the UPA government’s back, let’s see how much reform Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram can deliver. Ajay Shah writes

Assuming the PM and the FM decide they want new drafting work done for one piece of legislation, it takes roughly a month of focus for a small team to get a good quality draft done. This is parallelisable – so 10 new drafts could get done in a month. The question is then one of whether it’s possible to introduce a new Bill and get it passed within the short time available. There might be some pieces of legislation which are non-controversial, where this could indeed come about.

I wrote an opinion piece in today’s Financial Express titled What now, UPA? about these questions. Now that the CPI(M) is out of the way, what is the task ahead of us in building the financial sector that India deserves?

Here’s the quick summary. There is a big task ahead of us. A lot of it can be done without legislation. The pending Bills are on the right track. But they are only a small slice of the legislative agenda in financial sector reforms. The bulk of the work has yet to begin. For the fuller rationale about these issues in financial sector reforms, see the Mistry and Rajan reports. [Ajay Shah]

This blogger, though, is not holding his breath—but will find the greatest happiness if proved wrong.

5 thoughts on “After the fig leaf dropped off”

  1. best bet are measures not requiring legislation. They need to get the budget voted and the session done and over with before taking recourse to ordinances to slam thru reforms.

  2. The biggest myth of the last decade and half is that Manmohan Singh is a reformer. He is not. He is a student of Harold Laski, don’t forget that. (Another myth is that he is honest and decent).

    Narasimha Rao was a reformer. And Chidambaram is a bit of a hope. That’s about it.

  3. Agreeing completely with Oldtimes that it is one of the most propagated myth that MMS is honest and decent and that he is a reformer. I do not know if Rao was a reformer either or it was more of compulsion that the reforms took place. I would rather cite the insightful writings of Political socialist Ashutosh Varshney who suggests it was more of compulsion.

  4. “There is a big task ahead of us. A lot of it can be done without legislation.”
    Yes, there is a big task ahead of UPA and a lot of it will be done without legislation: Earning back all those crores that were spent buying MPs; Giving favors to the new alliances and the tycoons who supplied money bags; Doling out schemes to different sections of the vote bank in preparation for elections.
    WOW! that’s a big task indeed.

    “This blogger, though, is not holding his breath—but will find the greatest happiness if proved wrong.”
    I too will be delighted if the spineless puppet of PM that we have got can really do some good things.

    It pains my heart so much when I read Nitin or Atanu talk about our hopelessly rigged system.

  5. I hope against hope that MMS is as jealous about his reform legacy as he seems to be about his foreign policy one. If so, there is still hope that a lot can happen in what remains of 2008 itself.

    And yes, the reassuring presence of Mullayam and Amir Singh in the corridors of federal power means its safe to buy ADAG stock now….

    2009 promises to be a disaster zone where reform and fiscal responsibuility are concerned. Am just hoping the zealous Singh trio don’t push through a seventh pay commission in the time left them….That was meant as a joke and after typing it in I realised, it could even come true….bhalai ka zamana nahi raha.

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