The article “A risky strategy, born of panic” (Sept. 22) argues that in a democratic set-up, decisions must be taken on the basis of a consensus, not in a ‘top-down’ manner. It would be self-deluding to assume that all stakeholders and those reactively opposed to a move will enrich decision-making rather than obstruct and oppose it.
A point that the article misses when it attempts to analyse the reasons for the recent reform measures is the change of guard in the Finance Ministry. P. Chidambaram has clearly given a positive push to decisive action. As for the argument that foreign investors will demand a friendlier patent regime for drugs so that generics can be blocked and rail against subsidies, it is not backed by fact. India is increasingly becoming a votary of generics and the government seems willing to subsidise essential medicines. The Food Security Bill and better implementation of MGNREGS are set to balloon the subsidy bill, at least in the near future.
Vivek Kumar Rana,
By saying that the so-called “hard decisions” are intended to benefit people in the long run, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is misleading the aam aadmi. His reforms focus on the upper strata of society which constitute barely 10 per cent of the population. Had Dr. Singh concentrated on dual pricing of diesel, and providing basic rights like the right to food to the aam aadmi, he would have achieved the twin objectives of boosting his sagging image and giving a breather to the exhausted common man.