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March 2, 2008

Advani's economic agenda

Issue 12 - Mar 2008

Atanu Dey

Mr Advani’s speech is definitely more palatable than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on corporate social responsibility was a few months ago. This time around, the NDA may have a more promising public policy agenda considering that Mr Modi will have a greater influence in framing it.

As many had predicted, the UPA’s fifth and final budget leaves behind an unhappy legacy. Because it will attempt to appeal to the UPA. The budget was short-sighted and damaging to the prospects of long-term development. It failed to notice that Indians are moving ahead despite the best efforts of the rulers to keep them dependent on the government and in poverty.

The challenge for the next government has been all the more difficult by the UPA’s (hopefully) final act of cynicism and irresponsibility. There is much in Mr Advani’s speech that gives reason for hope that the NDA is on the right track. It would serve the nation well if Mr Advani can insist upon these policies whether or not the NDA is elected to power.

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