It is celebration time for crony capitalism in India...
The Indian Express was remarkably frank in its July 9th editorial. It said, "With the Left losing its stranglehold on the UPA government, big new spaces have opened up in economic policy." It further says,
"Many things that were taboo can now be back on the agenda. The last major achievement in Indian financial sector reforms was in 2001, when rolling settlement was pushed onto the equity spot market. The Percy Mistry and Raghuram Rajan reports have carefully thought through financial sector reforms, India's engagement with globalisation and the macroeconomic policy framework. Roughly speaking, the UPA can now push through roughly three-quarters of the recommendations of the two reports"
"The best strategy that they cannow adopt is similar to what was done by the NDA with the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM). "
"In elementary education, the task now is of shifting public expenditures towards vouchers, so as to give parents the ability to exert influence on schools. In higher education, the government must start exiting the field...In other areas of health, the key task is that of shifting to a format where providers (private or public) compete on a level playing field, and only get paid when a customer walks in."
The Economic Times was more specific with a sweet little 16-point programme for Manmohan:
Economic reforms: The unfinished agenda
8 Jul, 2008, 1446 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: Following are some of the key components of economic reforms, which the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was unable to push ahead, primarily because of opposition from Left parties:
1. Divestment of government equity in public sector undertakings
2. Privatisation of state-run companies
3. Liberal labour policies for corporate sector
4. Foreign equity in multi-brand retailing
5. Higher equity for foreign companies in single-brand retailing
6. Higher foreign equity for foreign companies in insurance sector
7. Development of a vibrant corporate bond market
8. Easier norms for foreign banks to set up operations in India
9. Removal of 10 percent cap on voting rights for investors in non-state banks
10. Relaxation of land ceiling for foreign realty developers
11. Easier entry norms for credit rating companies
12. Higher foreign equity in asset reconstruction companies
13. Higher equity for foreign firms in state-run refining projects
14. Higher foreign equity in newspapers and current affairs periodicals
15. Permission for news and current affairs programming in FM radio
16. More liberal policies for foreign equity in commodity exchanges