Venkaiah disapproves of competitive populism
Calls for structural changes to sustainably increase incomes
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, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.
Delivering the Chief Guest address at The Huddle, a thought conclave organised here by The Hindu, he 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 shortterm political gains, but lead to long-term economic problems as they are “unproductive,” he said.
Mr. Naidu termed them “competitive populism” that is fraught 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,” he said.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday sought a code of conduct for media personnel to contain sensationalisation of news and the scourge of paid news, as well as one for industry and corporate organisations to “weed out” individuals and companies that had tarnished the image of the country through economic offences.
He was addressing The Huddle, a thought conclave organised by The Hindu, in Bengaluru.
During his speech, peppered with trademark catchphrases and witticisms, Mr. Naidu also stressed the need for the three wings of democracy, the executive, legislature and the judiciary, to maintain the delicate balance as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.
“Now you are seeing the trend of one wing encroaching on the other while forgetting its own responsibilities. Nobody should encroach into the domain of others,” said Mr. Naidu.
Sustainable development was the theme of his address, with the Vice-President pointing out that despite the positive impact of government programmes and policies, the country should ask itself if the economic growth has been inclusive, particularly in rural areas and those engaged in agriculture.
“Making people living in rural areas an integral part in the developmental process should be the aim of the policy makers and planners. Promoting investments in modernising agriculture, mainstreaming of rural livelihoods and creating market avenues for rural population will help in ensuring equitable development,” he said.
The Vice-President said he was holding consultations with the Prime Minister, politicians and State leaders to come up with ideas for improving farmer incomes. These ideas, he said, were passed on to the government.
Venkaiah Naidu at The Huddle in Bengaluru on Sunday.