UPA Government 2004-2008: Rest in Peace

Saturday, October 18, 2008

India has been governed by a coalition group called,UPA, since 2004. Soon it will be time for the people to give their verdict; report cards will be issued by those in power and those in opposition. So, here is a preliminary view.

Terrorists strikes in the country "seem" to be increasing and indigenous terrorist organizations "seem" to be growing unchecked. Ordinary citizens in metropolitan areas of India are more insecure today than in 2004. There were bombs earlier as well but it is the scale of strikes today and their regularity which is numbing. Further, it is the almost absolute silence on the subject from the government which is terrifying. And, of course, the disparate public views of the coalition partners add to the insecurity.

Overall, the UPA rates an F on security.

UPA came to power when the economy was in an upswing and that upswing continued for some time registering record breaking GDP growth. Now, at the end of its mandate when the effect of UPA economic policies is in full force, we having slowing GDP growth, double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, falling foreign investment, falling Rupee, and some economic insecurity.

Confronted with these negative developments the UPA is in full denial; blame is placed on speculators in foreign countries. We all like to blame someone else for our problems; the government it seems agrees with this approach. A formal approach, a road map, a plan of action; something for us to latch on to in these insecure times and have faith in our government is missing. Well, I suppose it could be worse, but i cannot imagine How?

Overall, the UPA rates a D on the Economy.

Transportation: Getting from one place to another is awful except for railways; all flights are delayed because airport infrastructure is awful...travelling by roads means travelling by pothole in search of a road...there is no solution in sight because government plans to be implemented over the next five years will handle traffic from 5 years ago...

Power: There is no discernable improvement in the power situation...the government has pursued the nuclear deal with the promise that in the long term nuclear power is basic to solving the country's power shortage. We agree with the pursuit of the nuclear power option; however, the plants will come on stream in 7 to 10 years. And the shortage will be increasing exponentially. What about this coming decade?

For its courageoous pursuit of the nuclear option, we applaud the government; for its handling of our day to day needs and providing plans to reduce our energy insecurity we can only denounce the government.

Water: The UPA's policy on this diminishing vital resource is a nod that it exists. From Kashmir to Assam, major fresh water resouces are under attack. In the centre, the water table is dropping. The rivers are polluted and getting worse.

Waste Management: The cities, towns, villages are filty...this is a source of disease and illnesses which are a huge drain on the limited health care sector...there is no articulated short or long term policy on waste management.

Health Care: Would you want your health to be in the hands of a government run hospital? And the level keeps dropping despite increase in tax collections. Where is the short or long term policy that we can all believe in?

Education: Six years ago, the NDA, forced a consititutional amendment that made education compulsory till the age of 14. The UPA has still not brought in the enabling legislation whereby funds would be allocated to make this a reality. Any school is an improvement on no school; it seems the UPA does not yet agree.

Overall, on infrastructure the UPA rates a D.

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