Looking Ahead: A lot of work to do

| Updated on: Jan 01, 2014
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To me, 2013 was one of the most disappointing years. Problems related to governance, lack of decision making, no team work at the highest level and, most importantly, lack of strong will and leadership, made us miss the opportunity to place India ahead.

However, several band-aids placed over structural wounds made the year not totally disheartening.

Ever an optimist, I am hoping that 2014 will bring more cheer but we need to make some structural improvements such as:

Reduction of fiscal deficit: The fiscal deficit has been reined in this year — not through higher tax revenues but through slashing government expenditure. This has slowed down the GDP to decadal lows and brought financial challenges for the industry. Hopefully, in 2014, we will see a more structural solution like implementation of GST, DTC and better fiscal management.

Reduction in current account deficit: The current account deficit has been brought down by throwing sand in the wheels of the gold import machinery, but 2014 will need some positive actions including an environment which encourages exports.

No deterioration in balance of payments: Again, the band-aid solution used here has been the successful mobilisation of NRI depositsl where $35 billion was raised in only a few months. However, the tooth fairy does not repay these deposits.

Debottlenecking stalled infrastructure projects: While some projects have got clearances, far more needs to be done and 2014 will hopefully provide the country with a leader who can wade through the several policy challenges that will confront him.

Employment generation: To create an environment where we can create sufficient jobs for the 200 million young Indians who will move into the job market by making education and skill development more aligned to the needs and encouraging small and micro enterprise.

Stable government The most important thing that I am hoping is that we have a stable government with a strong dynamic leader with a clear vision and execution capabilities and not get into a Delhi-like situation.

One of the two national parties should be able to form a government with support, otherwise a medley of parties will lead to chaos.

The writer is the Chairman of Mahindra Holidays and a non-executive director on the board of Mahindra & Mahindra.

Published on January 01, 2014

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