This refers to “A new fix for economic decision-making” by A K Bhattacharya (October 9). The issue was waiting to be raised since quality of decision-making lies at the root of effective governance. The process essentially involves defining a problem, generating alternative courses of action and assessing probable outcomes in the face of ground reality. In actual practice, the process gets vitiated. Decisions are made at the highest political level in the government based on predetermined perceptions of problems. This is followed by preparation of necessary paperwork providing justification for the decision made, which is then put up for formal approval. The involvement of experts in the field remains a superficial formality. The likely side effects of proposed solutions are overlooked.
Once a decision is implemented, its success or failure has to be judged by results, not the original intention. The same yardstick applies to political decision-making as well. The impact of decisions on Article 370 and the National Register of Citizens will show up in the direction of events in the next few months. The country must reap the benefits that come from a decisive government. However, one is tempted to say that a secure and confident political leadership need not feel shy of looking at sincere dissenting views before finalising decisions. The main objective of governance is not to outsmart the Opposition.
Political decision-making and economic policies of the government may not be entirely independent of each other. Apart from garnering votes, political decisions do impact a nation’s social fabric which in turn affects the investment climate and inflow of foreign direct investment. The government needs to ensure that its political and economic policy making are not antithetical to each other.
Vinay Kant Kapur, New Delhi
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