The honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, has finally acknowledged the Private Sector’s role in the country, its importance, and the enormous contribution it has made towards the country’s development.
In his address in the Parliament, Modi recognized the Private Sector as one of the most essential elements for a developing nation and the current environment where globalization and businesses around the world have gained importance like never before.
In his speech, he draws the comparison between the Public Sector and the Private Sector and says that as important as is the Public Sector, equally important is the Private Sector today.
By far, there is nothing wrong with what has been mentioned in his speech; it shows clearly that perhaps, like never before in the history of this country has the Private Sector been given the status that it has been today.
Undoubtedly, the Private Sector will be overjoyed at this acknowledgment which has taken a long time to come but read on to understand the finer nuances of the speech and what it may actually be pointing towards –
It clearly indicates one troubling factor – is this an opening for what may become India’s future trend? We as a country have heavily relied on our elected governments for our basic infrastructure needs for ages.
Working in government-held positions and for the Government has always been considered to be the ‘safest’ & ‘until retirement’ work led positions that guarantee income, and up to some extent based on how high one is up the ladder – a lifestyle to boast off, fabulous perks and the best part, pension after retirement.
But Mr. Modi has very clearly indicated via this speech in the Parliament that the Government is slowly but surely pulling the mat from under the feet of those whose aspirations and focus is to land with some government job!
If you read deeper in between the lines, it is quite apparent that Mr. Modi definitely wants to reduce this dependency of this country’s citizens on to the Government.
The recent spate of privatization of many renowned public sector ventures is an example of the same, and so is the introduction of the still disputed Agri Farm Bills.
As one listens to the speech, the first point in support of the Private Sector is the example of how well the usage of smartphones and mobile-led services, data has penetrated into the Indian market, the high acceptance and the use of mobile services, which can only be in reality be articulated as an explosion of sorts – as compared to any other country in the world – is definitely true.
But what is also true is that the credit for the same is also attributed to Reliance Jio, which through its very competitive offerings, slashed data prices and oh, so many other exciting marketing packages gave other Indian and International mobile service providers a run for their money!
Perhaps, Mr. Modi is very cleverly while acknowledging the Private Sector’s role in this Mobile Boom – is also outlining the part of this one company (Reliance) that singlehandedly turned the tables on its competitors and, to date, provides the cheapest price point for data services.
He further goes on to the country’s Pharma sector – and illustrates and asks – are these vaccine manufacturers government companies? And the fact that today India is being able to aid other countries in the world in providing vaccines, the credit for the same goes to the pharma companies that are private and operate in the private Sector.
- Further, he gives massive support and extends great comradery towards the youth of the nation, saying that – we should have trust in our youth, and the fact that they are always pulled down; gone are those days when it used to be said that the Government should do it, the Government then may have done something, but those days are gone now. Today, the world has changed; today, the society has strength, the nation has power, everyone should get the opportunity.
What this can also be interpreted as that the youth of the nation should understand that onus of providing employment is not in the hands of the Government anymore.
Recent events have highlighted the high unemployment rate prevailing in the country. An epitome of the same is the hashtag that was trending on Twitter – “#modi_rojgar_do” has already seen over two million tweets and clearly shows the most difficult challenge that this country’s citizens are facing.
But Mr. Modi has directed the youth of the nation and those who have been tackling this issue to solve it through the private Sector and very subtly yet clearly articulated that the Indian Government has a minimal role to play in this massive problem that the citizens of this country are facing today.
- The fact that the private Sector is condemned and is called deceitful, this culture might have come in handy to get votes in the previous times, but today the same is not going to come in handy. Wealth creators are important in society; otherwise, how will they distribute their wealth to the needy?
While it is true and gives a nation certain credibility in the world arena if the list of ‘World’s Wealthiest’ also features our own home-grown industries and businesses, the same does not guarantee ‘distribution of wealth’ to the needy.
Yes, job opportunities open up, but the one significant and essential factor that we seem to have forgotten is that the private Sector, any industry works for profits. Businesses are driven by one and the only factor that is profit; jobs may be provided, but the Private Sector also claims its pound of flesh.
And when profits are the only consideration – all human resources aspects take a back seat, as we have very well seen even during the course of the pandemic where millions of people lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.
- By giving jobs and if everything is left to the ‘Babu’s; if one is an IAS, he will set up fertilizer factory, fly planes, and what kind of big display of power is this? What are we to do by giving the power in the hands of ‘Babu’s’? The more opportunities in the Private Sector we provide, the better options for the youth also.
True, a ‘Babu’ is not expected to fly a plane, and neither is he expected to build businesses, but the fact is – here is where it gets misleading. If we were to compare to the U.S., which is also a democracy, the Government provides and takes care of all essential services.
These services include –
Social Security payments, Social security payments if one becomes disabled and hence unable to work, Food Stamps provide families facing hardships by helping them buy food essential for good health, the Federal minimum wage law makes sure every covered worker gets paid a basic wage, the Department for the Interior protects national parks for the enjoyment of all Americans, Public education is available to every child, Federal Dams provide electrical power, food control, and irrigation, Federal deposit insurance protects bank accounts, Construction, and maintenance of interstate highways link in the country and a whole lot of other services that come under the United States Government that are more than 50 in number.
Compare the same in our country, a country where the citizens pay the highest in terms of taxes to the Government, the highest number of Cess levied, so much so the only country in the world that had its Government ask for donations from its citizens during the start of Covid -19 pandemics.
Where is all the money that is collected from the citizens? Where and in which infrastructure is it utilized in? What do we have to show in terms of infrastructure and basic amenities? What are the state of our roads and our traffic signals?
There are so many questions that can be raised and asked from the Indian Governments, irrespective of which political party is in power; nothing changes on the ground for this country’s citizens.
And the finality of this article is that the present Government has very well laid down its plans and limited expectations that the citizens of this country may have from the current Government.
It has clearly, while showering praises on the Private Sector, has left the main critical issues to be tackled at individual levels for all citizens and by all citizens; perhaps we should wake up and construct our own roads, our own infrastructure, and everything else in between!
The only Government in the world that has laid down its expectations from the citizens of this country, a topsy turvy approach – where the expectations are from the Government that we have elected and citizens should and may have no expectations from the Government at all!