Some Interesting Public Policy Issues


Wikipedia (Photo credit: Octavio Rojas)

The old RBI Building in Mumbai

The old RBI Building in Mumbai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India Against Corruption HQ logo

India Against Corruption HQ logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The SOPA Act in The United Sates: The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. The bill promises to protect intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites.

Anti Corruption Body Formation in India (Lokpal Bill):Government failure to propose a strong Lokpal Bill

which is new anti corruption activism in India. It lacks teeth to bite the corrupt and is faulty in many ways.

Reserve Bank of India‘s monetary policy:
Keeping in mind the sustainability of Indian Economy and the growth prospects so that fiscal consolidation takes place , it becomes very difficult for RBI to curtail Inflation in India. Inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy hovered over 9% for 10 straight months to September. A depreciation in the rupee, which has fallen about 11% against the U.S. dollar since April, has made imports costlier, aggravating the inflation problem. While the RBI have persistently raise the rates 12 times in 18 months till September of 2011 as an anti-inflationary policy stance, while completely ignoring the supply side economics. What was need to focus on the supply side economics and not only demand side economics.

Lack of a National Integrated Logistics Policy in India: While roads have improved and express highways created, delays at check posts along the way due to heterogeneous state taxes and regulations have limited efficiency gains.

Infrastructure Finance in India: While delays in implementing infra projects due to land acquisition , environment and other issues are well recognised in India, one area where a solution could have been forthcoming much earlier relates to accessing long-term funds needed for investment. India needs to develop long term debt markets and deepen corporate bond markets. This in-turn calls for strong insurance and pension sub-sectors.

Attracting Foreign Investment and Foreign Investors in India: India needs Modern Retail. There could be an argument about FDI in retail , but there is really no debate about the need of Modern Retail Technology . Cold-Storage and faster movement of perishable commodities along with better ways of Supply Chain Management will help farmers and Consumers. All this could be done without FDI , but the entry of Carrefour, Walmart and Tescos of the modern world will accelerate the process.

Energy and Power Sector: No country have higher growth without adequate power. India is especially facing enormous power problems. Bank lending to the sector is at all-time high, but some projects that have borrowed money are stalled because of land, raw material and infrastructure issues. Some states are not in a position to buy power from private generators because they have not raised the power tariffs for a decade are now unable to raise it because of political pressures and vote bank politics.

Dismal Scene and Negligence for India’s Agriculture Sector: There have been hardly any reforms in agriculture. Marketing laws are outdated. Distribution and logistics from the farm to food-bowl are full of inefficiencies and corruption. The cost a consumer pays is too high and cost the farmer gets is too less. This exaggerates the problem of food inflation. The APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committees) monopoly run by state governments does not allow retailers to buy directly from the farmers.

Labour Reforms: Labour laws must be reformed so as to restore the employer’s right to lay off workers upon adequate compensation to them. In context of India, firms with 100 or more workers have no legal way to exit since they cannot lay off the workers. This works as a major barrier to entry of new firms on a large scale , as they hesitate to enter into a world that no exit doors.

Opaque Political Funding giving rise to more of Politico-Corporate Corruption: Corporate contributions to political parties are shrouded in secrecy, which give chance to more corruption. Electoral compulsions for funds in countries like US and India become the foundation of the whole superstructure of corruption. Transparency in the ways that companies engage in , manage and oversee the political funding, especially in case of India is a first step to cleaning up the corruption problem. Both companies and political parties need to take a lead in this.


About Vaibhav Gupta

Strategy Consultant, Open Source Enthusiast, Cooking Hobbyist, Photography Enthusiast. View all posts by Vaibhav Gupta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: