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A Welcome Shuffle

It's been a little over a year since our President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee's victorious entry into the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Within this short time frame, he's done a most successful job of infusing a new leash of life into the establishment. After flailing with a non-performing President for a good 5 years, his work at the Raisina Hill is a breath of fresh air for the office which was deeply unpopular with the masses for the air of lethargy and dormancy which hung over it.
No longer a lame-duck office
But Pranab Mukherjee has changed things. His efficient style of working and quick disposal of matters, has won favor with a large section of the 1.2 billion people of India. His people-friendly approach and his sense of activity is endearing. In the past few months, he has made efforts to open the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the public and has also done away with the Colonial-era of calling the President 'His Excellency' which sounds suspiciously similar to what they would call the British King.

His quick disposal of mercy petitions, which have been gathering cockroach eggs in the past few years and sense of sternness with terrorists has given him the image of being quite proactive. His stint so far has popularized the President's office with the people. The difference between him and the other Presidents is that for him Rashtrapati Bhavan isn't a retirement home for politicians; it's another office which needs regular work.

 Synonymous with his exit for the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the entry of Chidambaram into the finance ministry. The Government then was in a deep policy paralysis. Where Pranab Mukherjee has excelled in his new office, Chidambaram has shaken the finance ministry from it's deep stupor. A flurry of reforms have poured in besides politically hard decisions like deregulation of diesel prices. He's a man who has proved himself to be capable of cleaning the Indian economy.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram

His most important achievement however, has been to clean up the government's finances. The fiscal deficit, which was too high for anyone's comfort has now severely been reduced. When he announced his decision to cut the fiscal deficit to 5.3% of the GDP, no one believed him. He proved his naysayers wrong and has cut it to 4.9% today, exceeding even his own expectations. His efforts to attract foreign investment by touring the world's major investor hubs have made him a popular figure among investors.

Today, Chidambaram has acquired a sense of a man on a mission. He is working actively on shoring up the economy, whose bubble has burst thanks to it's unsustainable nature. He is a man who can the things done. In fact, last year has in fact been a very good year for India in these aspects. It was definitely the best thing that could have happened. Here's hoping that it continues for the next year.

2 comments:

  1. Great post! A professional write-up from a promising kid! Good work.

    I agree with your observations that Mr. Chidambaram has cleanup some mess in the Indian economy through his policies, but I do not see a leader in him. His actions were more from compulsions and a silent, political way to project himself for the top job(PM). I am sure he has his own ambitions to becoming the PM(nothing wrong with it though), but he needs to be a little proactive in approach, not reactive. But, nevertheless - much needed reforms.

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  2. Thank you! Your words have been most encouraging.

    I completely agree with you on your views on Mr. Chidambaram's attitude should be more proactive and not reactive but the fact remains that all economic reforms have been motivated by can't-but circumstances. In fact, liberalization was forced upon us by the 1991 balance-of-payments crisis.

    Thanking you,
    Ravichandra Tadigadapa

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