Vice-Pres­i­dent dis­ap­proves of com­pet­i­tive pop­ulism

Stresses on the need for struc­tural changes to sus­tain­ably in­crease in­comes

The Hindu Business Line - - THE HUDDLE -

Com­pet­i­tive pop­ulism among po­lit­i­cal par­ties and of­fers of loan waivers and free power in the run-up to elec­tions are just tem­po­rary so­lu­tions that do not ad­dress the need for struc­tural changes to sus­tain­ably de­velop in­comes in the coun­try, said VicePres­i­dent Venkaiah Naidu on Sun­day.

De­liv­er­ing the Chief Guest ad­dress dur­ing The Hud­dle, a thought con­clave or­gan­ised by The Hindu, in Bengaluru, Naidu said: “Prom­ises of free power mean that first we’ll get low power and then no power...Loan waivers (sim­i­larly) are tem­po­rary so­lu­tions. Farm­ers need credit ev­ery sea­son. What we need are struc­tural changes.”

Pop­ulist mea­sures may have short-term po­lit­i­cal gains, but lead to long-term eco­nomic prob­lems as they are “un­pro­duc­tive”, he said.

Naidu termed them as “com­pet­i­tive pop­ulism” that is fraught Vice-Pres­i­dent Venkaiah Naidu at the The Hud­dle, in Bengaluru, on Sun­day

with “tall and im­prac­ti­cal” pro­grammes. “We’re sup­posed to be a ma­ture democ­racy. But peo­ple get away with these prom­ises and hand­ing out lol­lipops to vot­ers. Par­ties will have to jus­tify and ex­plain to the peo­ple on how they would find fi­nances to fund such schemes. This is an im­por­tant is­sue...it will make them ac­count­able to vot­ers,” he said.

Naidu, who is also the Chair­man of the Ra­jya Sabha, said the code of con­duct for MPs and MLAs should en­sure the end of re­peated dis­rup­tions in Par­lia­ment and Assem­blies.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that disor­der and dis­rup­tions have be­come the or­der of the day It isn’t in­di­vid­ual MPs and MLAs that dis­rupt pro­ceed­ings out of their will, but par­ties. It is the high com­mand which di­rects them to. This com­pet­i­tive op­po­si­tion must go,” he said.

K MU­RALI KU­MAR

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