Budget expectations 2020-21

first_imgThe GOI portal dedicated to eliciting suggestions from citizens for Budget 2020-21 must be receiving thousands of suggestions uploaded by citizens who are aware of the impact their views can have on policy formulation in the long run.Some areas which need immediate attention and ‘out of the box’ approaches, whether through a budget announcement or by policy initiatives with a focus on Resources Management are discussed below:Though our country has only one-third the geographical area as compared to the US with more than 3 times population, we are blessed with much more resources and a much better weather cycle. Also, we have not appropriately accessed the potential of our workforce. Once the will to professionally manage domestic resources emerge, we can defeat all doomsayers. Illustratively :(a)            Real estateWe should immediately take up a survey of usable land and buildings in cities and towns with a population of 5 lakhs and above. The survey should cover Rashtrapathi Bhavan to temple/mosque/church premises with an objective of optimal use for the public advantage. For example, the possibility of ministerial bungalows spread over the whole city getting substituted by residential complexes in the vicinity of Parliament House, Secretariats or Legislative Houses can be considered. The excess land and buildings that will get released will be worth billions which can be redeployed for economic development. The city traffic also will become smooth. A project to rebuild Parliament House and allied buildings is under implementation which can be expanded to factor in these ideas.(b)            Domestic gold stocksGold Management needs a makeover. Domestic gold stock with individuals and institutions (including religious bodies) need to be accounted for and mainstreamed for the nation’s benefit. Idle domestic gold stock waiting mainstreaming, according to one estimate exceeds 24,000 tonnes.Issues of trust, faith, emotion and sheer laziness to take responsibility on the part of voluntary social workers who generally manage the affairs of Trusts and Boards of Management of religious bodies need to be addressed with care and deftness.(c) Long coastal areasIndia’s long coastal areas remain under-exploited. More Mini-ports, fishing harbours, tourism development, use of sea-belt for transportation of people and goods are all areas needing attention.(d) ForestsForest mapping, planned re-forestation, development of medicinal plant gardens in and around existing forests and commercial exploitation of forest produce without destroying environment need to be prioritized. Here, stakeholders like timber dealers, producers of ayurvedic medicines like Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala, builders etc can be associated in planning future development.(e) WorkforceThe workforce in India is in disarray for various historic reasons. Privatization of public services and outsourcing of work by organizations reducing the number of regular employees have affected job security in the short term and social security in the long term. Remuneration for every day’s work should factor in the concept of fair wage comprising living wage and post-job survival costs.last_img

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