Monday, February 21, 2011

"Inclusive growth" is a scam

Back in 2004, the Congress led UPA came to power criticizing the NDA's ill fated "India shining" campaign. Upon gaining mandate to govern the nation, the UPA sought to differentiate itself as a government that cared for the people who did not benefit from the economic growth yet. It came up with a common minimum program that purported to carryout out development with a "human face". "Inclusive growth" has been the buzzword since then. And to add credibility to their claims, the Congress party installed Manmohan Singh over us.

To carry out their "inclusive growth", the UPA came up with many social benefits schemes. The mother of them all is the NREGA, their flagship showcase. This scheme aims at providing 100 days of guaranteed employment to the poor. It was launched in Feb-2006. The UPA has been touting the program's success ever since. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, especially the latter, have hardly missed an opportunity to sell the story to us. But audits do not agree with such claims -

NREG fails to deliver [Link] (2008)

Punching a hole in the UPA government's campaign of Bharat Nirman and other flagship schemes, its official auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in a report released on Friday that the government had been overstating the expenditure [Link] (2009)

A conservative estimate of the disappearance into thin air of money meant for the poor NREGA recipients in 2007-08 is about two-thirds of the money spent on the programme. Disappearance means money not accounted for by receipt, by the poor or the rich. It is unlikely that corruption in the NREGA has decreased in the last three years while having increased in all sectors of the economy. Which means that scam money in the NREGA, in just one year, 2010-11, is upwards of Rs 25,000 crore. [Link] (2011)

So a noble sounding social benefit scheme has quickly degenerated into a giant scam, a hallmark of the Congress party. Many things could be said of this but the fact remains that the Congress party is only continuing it's money making ways at the expense of the same poor it purports to help under a new name, "inclusive growth".

This abominable cruelty is not limited to social schemes. Anywhere there is money to be made, there is a scam to be pulled off. Take the current rage for example, the 2G spectrum scam. First seen here. The monumental scam is now know to one and all. Similar is the case with our highways. Since the regime changed hands from NDA to UPA in 2004, highway development activity has slowed down to a halt. Tall claims were made by UPA ministers. But 6 years later they have nothing to show for those claims. In fact this report will give you a glimpse of the rot that has set in the NHAI. Between 2007 and 2008, there were as many as 5 changes to to the NHAI chief post. And you would think with all the scams hitting the roof, the Congress party would have learnt it's lessons, but to the contrary dubious characters continue to be considered for the NHAI office. The agriculture ministry under Sharad Pawar is another case of gross mismanagement. Poor PDS infrastructure, rotting grains, farmer suicides are rampant under a Maratha strongman who comes from the farming belt in Maharshtra. Apparently, multitasking is not Pawar's forte, what with him heading the ICC as well.

We had to live a horrific nightmare under the incompetent beyond imagination Shivraj Patil. For a party with heavy socialist tendencies, they have failed at almost all human development indices. The story is same everywhere. Railways, 26/11, Pakistan, ISRO, Maoist manace, police reforms, defence, border disputes, Kashmir are no exceptions either. Six years have passed since development with "human face" began but all we have is a cargo load of scams. Each bigger than the other. "Inclusive growth" has a very limited scope than claimed by the Congress party. Only their inner members have grown significantly, others continue to be robbed of their destinies. "Inclusive growth" is a scam.

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