One more Kejriwal expose has hit the headlines. This time charge is government deliberately helping Reliance Industries to make profit at the expense of Indian tax payers. This may be true. However, does Indian state has the money and expertise to explore and commercialise gas? If we have why do we import 70% of our fuel from abroad? Not many people are familiar with benefits that Reliance got from government. However, it is important to recognize that many a time one has to give concession as a part of doing business. In Indian political and intellectual circles, Reliance industries is looked upon as violater of all government set norms. However, those who are familiar with government way of doing business in pre 1990 era, will say that nothing could progress and prosper if government dictat was to be followed. Because government hated some one making profit, and government wanted to control how much a business house must produce. Post 1990s liberalization, a few government stranglehold has been removed from business. However, in many spheres government still retains a lot of discretionary power. This becomes an issue of corruption debate. India needs to create transparent systems, and well defined processes to do business. There is need to abolish discretionary power of the ministers and government officers.
I do not want India to go back to licence permit era. I want a degree of honesty in the system of doing business. We would like all our 1.2 billion people to be honest and transparent. However, in the absence of a miracle, we cannot achieve this feat overnight. A second best option would be to create systems. I want that government must create fair and level playing field for people to do business and carry on with their daily lives. Any violator of peoples liberty, freedom and livelihood must be brought to book by law and order machinery. An exemplary punishment to transgressors will minimize corruption because criminals will have a fear of law. That should be government’s job.
It is important that in India we need to improve lives of people. Any government that comes to power has to take care all segments of society. To provide food security and job security, government / country must have money. A billion people cannot be pulled out of poverty, unless there is economic growth, unless there is wealth creation, unless there is job creation. If we antagonize private enterprise, then economic growth is likely be impossible.
I admire Arvind Kejriwal for his dedication to the cause of honesty. He has shown that people can raise their voice against misdeeds of high and mighty. I hope this push will force our leaders to change their technique and tactics. However, I also think in the absence of system, India will remain corrupt as much Arvind Kejriwal may shout from roof top. Because we have seen wherever there is big money, people have found a way to swindle. People that are crusading against corruption, their real test will be when they come to power.