Business Mantra Faridabad
Author : Sanjeev Surolia
The Prime Minister of the country is working relentlessly day-in and day-out to put the economy on a trajectory of growth. He is starting a good number of reforms and has kept a tight leash on the functioning of the Government;
the fact that no allegation of corruption has been made on any of his Ministers thus far is a testament to his style of governance.
So far, the Government’s energy has flown to all those sectors where the Prime Minister’s eyes have gone; but some people are still saying that no action has been taken on many other fronts. The mandate given to the Government of Narendra Modi is an ode to the huge aspirations of Indians across the country. Now, they are becoming restless to see all their dreams becoming a reality.
Realizing some of the aspirations would definitely take time, but the expectation from Modi is such that people feel that he is the only one who can deliver and do so quickly. They have a dream leader in mind when they view him, and often see him as a panacea for all the ills in our society.
The people of the country are reeling under the pressure of organizing their life which has been made miserable by the Government rules and regulations. Government on the other hand finds it difficult to deliver on all that is mandated till some bitter pills are not swallowed by the fellow citizens. Sometime it looks quite travestying that the system of Government and Bureaucracy was created to ease the life of the common man. The bureaucracy today is spending half or more time organizing their own affairs: How the salaries would be drawn. How the basic facilities of car, housing, medical and other amenities would be taken care of. The core function of taking care of the problems of the people who are paying for them has taken the back seat. The same is case with Police. The most of the energy of the police is getting sucked in keeping the senior police officers comfortable, roaming around the political people who can ensure retention in the good post or change to a better one. The real objective of ensuring peace and tranquility, crime free society is just a coincidental. The power of law can be seen maximum when a hapless poor person is in front and it pays obeisance to the powerful one’s. The civil bureaucracy would be more interested in getting only those things done where their personal interest is taken care of. There is no shame in joining hands with corrupt politicians and palm greasing contractors at the cost of life of a poor person who is supposed to be the beneficiary of those schemes.
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to really achieve good results he will have to change the rule of the game. He has shown courage in doing many such things but he will have to understand that the bureaucracy will soon decipher the ways which massage his little ego and will entice him to their way of doing things. He should strive to convert three things which are hitherto considered Asset in the country into a Liability.
The most important asset today in our society is the Govt Service. Whosoever get the Govt Service is considered to be a privileged one. Your one time glory of excellence in studies and competition becomes your life insurance of assured salaries, perks, unbridled powers to question, stop and interfere any good initiative of anyone. As It has been stated above the concern for public is on back seat and personal comforts and self interest become the main driving force. Prime Minister has done a good job by mandatory attendance for one and all using Aadhaar Card. The next step
has to be completion of allocated work in a given time frame. More so the delivery of services to the citizens in a stipulated time. Doing away of the personal interaction with the public and bringing more services on the digital platforms are also required to be ushered in to bring more citizen centric face of the bureaucracy and inculcating habit of doing the work of masters before the mandated time frame for the same.
The second biggest asset in our society is the material possession of the land and building. The need of the house can be understood. But it is the greed of the land and building which is creating a chasm between the haves and havenots. Some people of which maximum are politicians and bureaucrats who have amassed huge wealth mainly through illegitimate means are investing in the big plots and unwanted flats in connivance with unscrupulous businessmen and builders and thereby create artificial shortage of houses and resultant high and unaffordable prices beyond the reach of common man. Till 50 years back the investment in land never used to be a profitable venture. The Mahajans were more interested in giving money for sowing and used to take the crop back at less price. Though they had land records pledged with them they were never interested in getting it recorded in their name. It was more because of the taxes which were payable to the Govt than any other thing. Today we have made such a system that amassing huge land is becoming rewarding affair. The 75% land of any big city is owned by less than 100 persons. In Jaipur and many other places the former royal families have huge palaces and lands in their name which has been converted in a Trust leading to no taxes on assets and income and ability to enjoy these sprawling land and buildings. While a common man owning hardly 500 square feet of a flat is subject to all kind of taxes and liabilities, hardly any question is asked or a tax is levied on these luxurious unwanted, unused land and building owned by these erstwhile Maharajas. PM should make these land and building owned in excess of one’s own need of residential house should be subject
to land and building taxes as well as the deemed income to ensure that this concrete of jungles will be put to use. No flat or house would remain unoccupied. No one will keep his money invested on the hopes of increase in real estate prices. The Trust properties which are getting advantage of at least 100% Income Tax rebate and other tax rebates should be treated in equal ownership of the Government. The Govt should have the right to use the properties for charitable and social purposes. The cartels involved in sand business need to be broken. The steel prices are already coming down and by increasing productions it should come down even further. The bricks of ash and other material will reduce the prices of bricks. With the reduced land prices coupled with reduced prices of other components like
steel, bricks and sand the overall cost of construction will come down heavily. This will pave the foundation of truly “Affordable housing for All by 2022” which Mr. Modi is dreaming of.
The third thing which is a big asset in our society is Gold and Silver which is required to be made liability. First we have to understand as to why people invest in Gold and Silver. It is an age old trusted metal whose demand and prices have never diminished. Second it can be easily converted into liquidity when needed. Third it has utility for various social functions. Fourth while the Government backed paper currency or bank account has the possibility of failure and total or major loss on its nominal value, the price of gold would remain same and the purchasing power would rather increase in case of failure of the established currency. Whether India likes it or not it will remain a “Golden Sparrow” and would keep on attracting the gold of the world. The Govt is putting a good number of taxes and duties to make the import of gold unattractive. People have been devising unique ways of bringing cheaper gold in the country to earn money out of it. The Govt tactics have rather failed to cap the import of gold in the country. The solution lies in making it unattractive rather than putting tax and duties on it. People would continue to buy gold and even offer it to God be it at Sai Temple or Tirupati or elsewhere. The Charitable Trusts associated with these big religious places can be attracted to invest heavily in Education, Healthcare and affordable food like Akshaya Patra. Govt should provide them land at nominal price so that such facilities can come up in the name of Charitable Trust. This will not only lead to confluence of our ancient and modern education and Health Care system on one hand it will also give rise to research and popularizing our ancient education and Healthcare systems. People can be motivated to donate even more gold and silver on one hand and the same should be recycled to the market on the other. This cycle would give rise to building of tremendous social infrastructure which may not be possible by the Govt alone in several years. This flow of money will create several opportunity in the market and that will increase faith in Govt backed currency and Banking system which will lead to lesser hoarding of the unused yellow metal in every household of the country.
These few steps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not only boost the economic growth but also usher in a new Era of progress, bringing the common man and middle class to the mainstream of growth and fulfillment of the dream of making India a superpower by 2020. It has to be remembered that it is the contribution of small drops which brings flood which any amount of water brought from outside can’t achieve.
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