Friday, June 25, 2021
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Budget good but lacks originality

The NDA government is planning to build 100 smart cities. Why can’t they construct 100 model villages instead? The government’s thinking continues to remain city centric. You and me can vote and protest but the cows, buffaloes, goats, horses, birds, “ khassi” ( mutton) , chickens etc; can neither vote , nor protest but very much belong to be a part of the economy. The government is least bothered about what they will eat and drink and their health. Healthy cows mean a healthy nation.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would have never approved of a statue for himself. Patel was a low profile leader but the most dedicated of the ministers and without his efforts, our map would have looked different. Unifying various “ rajwadas” was not an easy task. Today we need silent and unassuming leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Infrastructural development is a must but it’s effective implementation and zero tolerance on corruption are necessary, without which it will not yield the desired results. There is lack of political will to reduce government spending by trimming the unproductive bureaucracy.

Lumpsum money is wasted for paying salaries, pension, perks to parliamentarians. They receive petrol allowance for vehicles which is mostly used for their personal use. Tax relief offered to senior citizens and women is laudable and it indicates that the government is sensitive towards the problems faced by them. It is very important to oversee that money is properly spent and not frittered away in opening offices and doing shoddy work.

The assistance of foreign experts should be sought to work in tandem with the Indian workforce otherwise, money could get misused by following unethical work practices. Even though there is announcements about starting five IITs and four AIIMS the existing government hospitals and engineering colleges infrastructure should be strengthened first. There is dearth of faculty and equipment in these institutions. The government must make industry- college interface more meaningful, otherwise, boys and girls passing out from IIT will be seen queuing outside the US embassies.

Integrating skill development with education is vital for which I have been harping at length for long. The nation requires good welders, machinists, electricians, plumbers etc; instead of mere degree holders. Private participation is important due to paucity of funds in government sector. It is absolutely necessary to monitor the functioning of private firms so that they serve with a reasonable profit margin and not amass wealth for personal/extended family enrichment. Any laxity will widen the gap between the rich and poor which needs to be narrowed.

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