Swaminathan Aiyar takes down the CMP

This deserves to be linked!

Cynics see the Common Minimum Program of the coalition government as the usual bunch of political promises: motherhood, apple pie, sugar and spice for all credulous suckers. The government itself calls the CMP reform with a human face. But what about the cost? Face-lifts are expensive, and may not improve your looks much. The CMP proposes to increase education spending by 2% of GDP, and health spending by another 1-2% of GDP. It promises a National Employment Guarantee, debt relief to the states, and doubled agricultural lending, each of which could soak up another 1% of GDP. Each 1% of GDP is Rs 25,000 crore, so the bill adds up alarmingly fast.

How will it be paid? The CMP has no explanation, only a bland declaration that the governments revenue deficit will magically disappear by 2009. But much of the proposed new spending (on education, health, employment) is revenue expenditure. How then will the revenue deficit disappear? Through additional revenue maybe?

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7 thoughts on “Swaminathan Aiyar takes down the CMP

  1. Perhaps Congress is anticipating that the high growth rate of today will continue– hopefully indefintely. So why not buy everything on credit now because it will be paid through increase tax revenue down the road.

    It is a disaster in the making. If they want to spend more on education and health, they must cut spending elsewhere. Which is very difficult if you have promised the world– and then some– to every tom, dick and harry.

  2. I’m surprised that nobody’s noticed there’s mention of “reservation in the private sector” in the CMP.

    It’s downright scary.

  3. Ugh!
    I’ve noticed. I hope corporate lobbying will kill it.
    Even if it becomes law, it will be mostly be flouted (Create some reserved posts and keep them vacant because “no suitable candidate was available” just like we used to do at IIT) but it will add another layer of inspectors and bribes.

  4. I know it is sacrilege to even consider this, but maybe reservations are not as bad as they are made out to be. They are definitely not as good.

    Seriously, what real option for social reform is available in a caste ridden country. Is there a realistic workable programme that we can put forward to fix the caste problem?

    Rajaji of the old Swantantra party seemed to have been supportive of caste distincitions. He instituted an education policy which gave caste-skill training in school. Ofcourse he was still in the Congress then, but I don’t know how much he changed his outlook later. Swantantra never really got popular because it got branded the party of rich farmers, landlords and Brahmins. How can a Liberal Party of India address these issues today?

  5. and Jivha hasn’t ranted against it, so it would seem this is possible 🙂 Miracles do happen you know.
    PS: whats the criterion for Cartel membership? are techies allowed?

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