In this article in the New Indian Express, Shankar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, evaluates the performance of the UPA government on its completing two years.
He writes that the first two years of UPA have been free of large corruption scandals. At the same time, there is some uncertainty about the recovery of the economy. One of the hallmarks of this government has been the launch of a plethora of schemes, slogans, and programmes. Aiyar opines, "To be sure the ideas have been propagated, the intent has been executed, but the big ideas seem to be caught in the roundabouts of government—those familiar with Delhi’s roundabouts would know about that sense of motion and the absence of movement.
You could argue that the BJP underestimated the complexity and magnitude of structural dysfunction when it came to power. The faith on babudom was misplaced—there is the risk of taking decisions and then there is the perverse incentive for doing nothing."
Arguing for greater decentralisation, he writes, "The Prime Minister has often invoked the theme of Team India. This demands decentralising—dismantling the many ministries that occupy subjects in the domain of states and reverting power back to the states. Sure, there is higher devolution of money to states, but there has also been relocation of expenditure on states. Ideas like Smart Cities and Skill India demand bottom-up empowerment for success."
Advocating the need to get rid of inefficiencies within the government, Aiyar writes, "The moot question that needs to be asked is: Should the government be doing all that it is doing? That will be the stepping stone for delivering on the promise of minimum government, maximum governance."
Read the entire article here.