We are currently very fortunate to have a leader who openly declared the importance of social inclusiveness and how his government will stay committed to achieve this goal. We know his heart in the right place and with help from our society this goal is achievable. There are two important aspects to this social inclusiveness which we will address in this blog.
First is the corporate social responsibility. Currently, it is getting only a marginal commitment from the private sector. Time has come to open their purse and donate at least 2 percent of their profit or 0.5 percent of their sales volume towards meeting this objective. These funds could then be used to upgrade the skills of our workers. A well trained work force will increase the levels of productivity and this can help achieve greater growth with the given level of investment. It is not that the corporates are not doing justice to the society but they certainly can contribute towards improving the quality of work force in India.
Second is the economic governance of common property by the government. India is very rich country endowed with enormous amounts of raw material like coal, Bauxite, iron ore etc. It has multitude of rivers in all parts of India. Right from the Ganges in the north to the Cauvery in the south and they are all part of the common property. It has mountains and forests right from the Himalayas, the Western Ghats and the Sunderbahns which are all common property. The arable land, desert are all common property. The write up cannot do justice to the size and level of common property. These properties must be governed with the intension to make use of it not only to produce wealth but also leave it as a massive endowment for the future generation. The government should seriously engage in reforestation, plant trees in large numbers to help the seasonal rains to deliver its bounty. The question now is how the government will go about achieving this.
The late Elinor Ostrom, winner of noble prize in economics in 2009 wrote an important paper on economic governance especially the common property. Ostrom identified five key design principles with regards to the common resource management.
- Collective choice arrangements that allow most optimal and innovative resource utilization. One of the daily articles suggested creating premium bottled Ganges mineral water. This will be a big hit especially among our NRI’s who want to visit the Ganga and are not able to.
- Clear define boundaries: Don’t let unentitled parties to make use of the facilities. River sand for example is stolen in hundreds of millions of tonnes
- Fix responsibilities and define the scope. For example, cleaned rivers are public property. Nobody can have access without permission
- Punishment for people who violate the public property. For example companies which dump their sewage into common rivers
- Resolving issues among conflicting parties. For example, the use of river water to private use. Set of rules need to be in place to regulate this.
Let us hope the miracle happens and we live the dream we always wanted.
Let us briefly visit her work and understand what she has to say about how to achieve this governance. It falls into several steps.
Step 1: Leadership: Mr. Modi, our prime minister who is committed and whom we trust will guide us to achieve this over time. A road map of how to get there will be prepared by him and his team. He should then nudge the society to cooperate and help to achieve the goal
Step 2: Attitude: Days of policy paralysis and inaction are over. Cynicism should be replaced by optimism and commitment. As the saying goes “if it is not impossible, it can be done”
Step 3: Relationship: We need to build new and constructive relationship with countries that are kindly disposed to us. Recently, China, Russia and even Pakistan have expressed their intention to help us achieve our vision. China can offer us billions of dollars as loan, both China and Russia can offer us superior technology and above all Pakistan can offer a friendly hand. Our government has already extended its hand to build a better relationship with them.
Step 4: The common interest: We are first and foremost Indians and this is our country. This is where our future generation will live and it is of utmost importance that we create better world for our children.
This is the most opportune time for us. All major countries are currently going through serious deflationary tendencies. US with anemic growth of 0.1 percent in Q1 2014, Euro zone just dipping into negative growth. Japanese deflation for over 15 years and even China compromising with a much lower growth. That means, plenty of investible funds are available in the global market and the cost of funds is outrageously low. Mr. Prime Minister sir, act now. The current global scenario is too good for us. Easy flow of money, technology and even good will and what more can we ask. Three Cheers!!!