Fix the software of policymaking and listen to the voice of people4 min read . Updated: 28 Jan 2021, 09:36 PM IST
- The government must focus on the process of policy formulation through genuine consultation to make headway on reforms
- Our celebrated ‘first generation’ reforms of the 90s that reduced controls on industry were easer to do than those we now must, given the larger and wider set of people who’d be affected.
The Indian economy is in a slump, and so reforms are an imperative. But the complications of banking sector reforms, the ongoing struggle of labour reforms, and the saga of agricultural reforms have all made clear that India’s policymakers are having a hard time pushing ahead with reforms. Arvind Subramanian, former chief economic adviser to the government, says that “restoring dynamism (in the economy) requires improving the ‘software’ of policymaking itself: the way that policies are formulated, publicly articulated, and implemented." (18 January 2021, Mint). That policies to produce desired outcomes require good processes, not only domain expertise, is vividly clear from the agitation of farmers against the new laws the government is trying to impose on them by side-stepping democratic processes.