Business Today

Packaging Policies

The NDA government has mastered the art of tweaking its failed or unimpressive policies without inviting criticism.
twitter-logo Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Print Edition: June 18, 2017
Packaging Policies

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will soon prepare a new National Manufacturing Policy to give a holistic thrust to its Make in India drive.

For every government, its anniversary is an occasion to highlight the good work it has carried out during the previous year and this government is no exception. The NDA government has completed three years in office on May 26 and a flurry of claims regarding the success of its flagship projects are flowing in from all ministries. The government will also use this occasion to build on the promises that remain unfulfilled.

A new National Manufacturing Policy is one such promise. A new version of the government's start-up policy is another. A renewed thrust to popularise the Stand Up India Policy (to promote entrepreneurship among backward classes) may also fall in this category. Unless the government abandonsseveral of its favourite slogans of the first three years, national schemes such as Soil Health Card Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Mudra Bank Yojana, Clean Ganga, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Smart City Mission and many more can qualify for upgrades and tweaks.

The National Manufacturing Policy is a classic case where the government is trying to energise its Make in India slogan. Three years after the campaign was unleashed, the government has realised it is following a dated policy framed by the previous UPA government in 2011 and a new one is required.

Interestingly, the government is completely silent on the National Capital Goods Policy. Approved a year ago, it was meant to provide the necessary fillip to the Make in India initiative. The objective was to increase capital goods production, which constitutes the bulk of India's real manufacturing, from Rs2.3 lakh crore in 2014/15 to Rs7.5 lakh crore in 2025. The employment generation potential was estimated to be huge, from 8.4 million to 30 million.

The Modi government has mastered the art of packaging things. It knows what to showcase and what to pack off. That is why it is successful in tweaking its failed or unimpressive policies without inviting criticism. One should not fault the government for that. It seems politically sound to package your failures as successes while you sensibly rework the policies which have not done well.

As long as the government learns its lessons from the failures, there is no reason to complain.


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