One thing that has gone unnoticed in the Modi government is that it has not made any economic advisory appointments thus far. Increasingly it was seen that even before the government taking oath of office, several self-styled advisors appointed themselves in different positions. The reason for doing so is anybody’s guess.
Advisors come with their own ecosystems and corporate relationships. The advisory bodies hence formed, get into a tug-of-war as each one serves different masters and then tend to become gatekeepers for them. This perhaps is Modi’s undoing of UPA-II. Hopefully, this act of common sense would continue to prevail and Modi would seek advice from whoever he pleases and as and when required, instead of promoting permanent cliques.
Second, while everybody wanted to give an ‘economic policy’ to Modi, he still does not seem to have taken any. He is still sticking to his own brand of Modinomics. Even while he was releasing the book – Getting India Back on Track, a collection of essays by eminent economists – he did not speak much from the book. Whatever he talked about was his own model and in essence – ModiNomics – amplified at a national level.
Third, a caution that we have to avoid a headlong rush into Gujarat. Modinomics is not about Gujarat model, it is about common sense. Each state is different from the other, both in terms of the needs and the resources it has. If someone has sold a paper clip to the Government of Gujarat, he is expecting it to become a national standard. Rationally speaking, not all successes of Gujarat can be or should be replicated nationally in toto. But bureaucracy, for the time being, seems to be behaving otherwise. Departments are sending delegations to Gujarat to learn from the Gujarat model. While it is good as a learning tour, blindly following it may be a recipe for disaster. Caution needs to be exercised as copying may not work and destroy the idea of federalism that is at the core of Modinomics.