15 May, 2021

Book Of Blunders

The UPA squandered the opportunity to deliver on good governance

Illustration by Sorit
Book Of Blunders
The UPA's performance is marked by four paradoxes. Under this prime minister, it had the dream economic team. Yet, the dream economic team was doing little more than dreaming. Apart from VAT reform, a major achievement, the government did not take a single significant reform measure. Some of the current slowdown and pessimism about the economy is due to global circumstances. But the blunt truth is the slowdown predates the global downturn while the government was asleep at the wheel.

The UPA's irresponsible management of government finances ensured it had little room for manoeuvre when the downturn came. The government is announcing package after stimulus package. But it is unable to spend the money it has sanctioned. Road construction—an activity central for jobs, inclusion and growth—slowed down because the government endlessly procrastinated over simple contracting issues.

The government wanted inclusive growth, yet it has done virtually nothing for small and medium enterprises and the informal sector, the real drivers of...

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