While politics would dictate terms, economics would watch helplessly. It is just like the ‘Dog and its tail relationship’. The dog can wag its tail, but the tail cannot wag the dog. It may sound a brash definition, but it is the undeniable bitter truth.
Resorting to the popular systems of taking sample cases to understand realities in order to determine the most logical paths, let us take a sample of five different salary or revenue earning vocations and assume that each category represents a family of five school-going children. Categories can be anyone like a senior manager, a medical doctor with a good private practice, a clerk in the state sector, a policeman and a physical laborer.
The expectations of all the governments so far failed in that sector as the development strategies were not well connected and therefore the benefits generated did not reach all the anticipated destinations in the society. It is natural as no strategies with ‘trickling effect’
Let us forget housing, but remember that they need water and electricity as a daily necessity and the basic nourishment all need in the form of food and beverages, the unavoidable medical needs and the transport facilities as the very basic for human life and facilities for education which has become a social must. The reality will be that each category will face those needs in different ways while for the most able economically shall face those in comfort, while the weaker revenue earners shall find difficulties in every direction. The amount of rice required for a day for a person shall be equal but is the price at the lowest level affordable to the lowest income earners? While the child of a high-Income earner who has a better standard of living has better access to most popular schools, what will be the fate of the low-income earner? Why is this disparity?
As the basic earnings of a family vary drastically from one to the other, the abilities to face their own challenges also shall be different. The responsibility of a government shall be to understand such social illnesses and find the most effective remedies. In that regard, the most obvious need is the poverty alleviation. The expectations of all the governments so far failed in that sector as the development strategies were not well connected and therefore the benefits generated did not reach all the anticipated destinations in the society. It is natural as no strategies with ‘trickling effect’ to generate benefits can be effective for those people who are below the poverty line. The only logical investment is in Export Oriented Ready-made Garments Industry which is the most labor intensive.
By establishing investments zones, how far can benefits be generated to reach the low-income earners? It definitely does not mean that such investment zones will be useless. Therefore, we must be concerned about the types of projects that should be encouraged.
The possible increases in investment shall definitely bring in benefits as such shall facilitate employment opportunities for the unemployed. But, again, what kind of categories will have opportunities and how many will find employment in such ventures. The latest technology is more automated mechanization is promoted meaning the limitation to numbers of people to be employed. Exports may denote increased foreign exchange earnings, but actually how much will be effectively beneficial for us?
It is encouraging to note that the signs of ‘political tribalism’ have started to fade away. It would have been a glowing sign if those who were not elected could not enter the parliament, regardless whether it was for the government or opposition as it definitely raises the question about the genuineness of the intensions. That of course brings in the question – Where to draw the line? The type of politicians we must have in the parliament should be those who can contribute something productive, but not those excuses for leaders who practically have no capacity to be like that. It is important to be conscious about that malady as nothing productive can come out of such. Correct politics should be to support right economics.
Administrative policies are generated with political motivation and that is why it becomes so important in this process to have good and sensible economic policies
We have a system that supports regional development through support given to empower low-income earners in such remote areas. Sometimes, it looks absurd the way such budgets are used in those regions. Those have become annual features and most of the District Development Committees meet periodically till time runs out and a mad rush can be seen in trying to spend the allocation as such unutilized funds which have to be returned to the treasury otherwise.
Such silly things happen while no interest is shown in finding ways to market the produce of the farmers. Agricultural labour is discouraged as they cannot make a living in farming. What efforts have been made so far to develop regions self sufficient in agricultural produce when it comes to food production? Cash crops can be encouraged freely. What planning has been done in collecting and processing surpluses, especially in food crop farming?
The required infra-structure is there, what matters is, the right thinking needed in such economic issues. It shall be the correct political guidance that would set the machine in motion.