View from the right: Freebies Vs Growthhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-right-freebies-vs-growth/

View from the right: Freebies Vs Growth

The Organiser cautions people against the distribution of freebies by the Arvind Kejriwal regime at the cost of India’s economic growth.

Batting for the Narendra Modi government vis-a-vis the AAP in the context of the recent Delhi assembly election, the Organiser cautions people against the distribution of freebies by the Arvind Kejriwal regime at the cost of India’s economic growth. An editorial called “Killing Growth Story for Freebies” says, “Commonman may not understand the dynamics of economic indicators but one need not be an economist to understand that wealth cannot be distributed unless it is created.” The editorial cites an IMF global forecast that India’s GDP growth rate will be above China’s in 2016 and also a report by Standard Chartered that the Indian economy is expected to clock 7.7 per cent growth.
Listing actions taken by the Modi government, the editorial points out it has “taken the brave step of partial dismantling of subsidies”, brought “transparency and efficiency in policymaking” and helped the banking sector “become vibrant and responsive to market needs”. The Organiser stresses that “the nationalist government” has done this “without compromising the core interests in the WTO negotiations…” It apprehends that with Kejriwal pushing his freebies agenda, other parties will follow suit. This may, in turn, force the Centre also to go in for populist measures. That will be detrimental to the development agenda and the larger national interest. The Organiser calls upon people to “not give… a free hand to kill India’s growth story”.

The promise gap

The Panchjanya has also come out with an editorial on the Delhi elections, saying, “The public mandate of Delhi is magical. This magic has been carried out by the people of Delhi. Arvind (Kejriwal), the onus is on you to ensure that it does not become tragic.” While acknowledging that the results hold a lesson for political parties and strategists, it observes that Kejriwal has won over the electorate by tempting them with freebies: “AAP has committed this sin”. However, it says, Kejriwal has to be mindful of the “gap between his promises and the kitty” and fulfil his promises by mobilising Delhi’s own resources, instead of expecting the Centre to do so.

Preachy Obama

US President Barack Obama’s speech at the Siri Fort Auditorium has attracted flak from the Organiser, which carries a commentary on the issue headlined “Uncalled for Comment”, written by U. Gopal Maller. It says that, unlike his predecessors, “who were never fearful of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism and stood up to it, Obama, through his attitude in various issues, has proved himself to be, though not fearful, diffident in dealing with this menace that is threatening the whole world”.
“Obama,” according to the article, “was addressing the formidable extremist Christian lobby in… America… He was trying to keep in good spirits Saudi Arabia, home to the orthodox, primitive, virulent and intolerable Wahhabism that dreams of turning the whole word into a Darul Islam.” It adds, “let us tell him firmly that we are quite capable of looking after our affairs. And he had better save his advice for his own country where blacks are discriminated against and even brutally killed…”

Compiled by Pradeep Kaushal