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Budget 2014: Chidambaram’s manufacturing vision is a rehash of the past

f there is one thing you can credit the UPA-2 government with, it is them being able to carve out noble aspirations, visionary statements and lofty goals out of thin air. But that’s something anyone can do, if he has a room without a view to what’s going on in the real world, the hubris to not do anything in the face of slowing economic growth and sustained high inflation, and an army of spin doctors who can crunch past data to suit the present dismal economic scenario.
Do we need a finance minister of P ‘Harvard’ Chidambaram’s outstanding calibre to tell us, for instance, that “manufacturing is the Achilles’ heel of the Indian economy” or that the “deceleration in investment in manufacturing is particularly worrying”? The National Manufacturing Policy that the UPA Cabinet finally approved in its 25 October 2011 meeting said what Chidambaram repeated in his Interim Budget 2014-15 speech – increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 percent from 15 percent and create 100 million jobs over a decade. We are more than two years down and the goal has not changed, the share of manufacturing has fallen and jobs are nowhere in sight.
My column in Firstbiz

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