now mamata banerjee has acted as i had predicted. some observers in the press have rightly called it the 'great eastern railway budget'. they're doing politics, she says. and what were they expected to do? she was doing politics too.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday denied that the budget proposals for 2010-11 was West Bengal-centric and said that questions to that effect amounted to humiliating the State and “me.”
Addressing journalists after presenting the Railway budget, Ms. Banerjee charged that their repeated questions that she was doling out everything only to her native State in view of the coming elections were “politically motivated.”
“Leave that to the MPs. They are doing politics. But how can I satisfy 800 people (MPs)? I have not curtailed the rights of any State. Most of these are for other States.”
i am reminded of a portion of one of the oft-quoted (by telangani separatists) articles by ch.hanumantha rao, agricultural economist of much repute:
Post-liberalisation, the impact of state policies on the economy may turn out to be greater than before. The role of government in awarding contracts, sanctions for location of private sector projects and technical institutions, decisions about the number, type and location of special economic zones, land acquisition and compensation policies, various kinds of patronage extended to different enterprises and activities, etc could together make a greater impact on the economy than in the pre-liberalisation period. [emphasis mine]i agree. i'd written about it earlier: the role of the state in the economy hasn't changed in the post-reforms period. in fact, in many ways it is stronger than during the 'socialist' age. so, shouldn't we be thinking about this over-sized role, about this growing centralization of economic power, urgently? shouldn't we worry more about the massive amounts of funds and favours now being handled by union ministers, from select geographic/cultural constituencies, 'doing politics'? especially in the light of all the gory scandals and scams that have featured ministers handling, or mishandling to be more precise, various 'economic' ministries in the last 19 years (sukhram, in the earliest post-reform period to mamata banerjee now)?
and what does ch.hanumantha rao offer as a solution to this problem of centralization of power? he ignores the centre, or the fount of the problem, and focusses on the states.
In general, the effect of such decisions would increase inequalities between different regions and income groups. This is because official patronage in bigger states tends to favour the regions and income groups already endowed with adequate resources, skills, power and influence. Clearly, backward regions run the risk of losing the race in bigger states in the post-liberalisation era.how does the first para lead to the second? shouldn't there be something in the middle, something very crucial? like rethinking on the increasingly large role of official patronage, exercised by politicians 'doing politics', at the centre in favouring more developed states in the country over backward states? shouldn't he be thinking, first, of interstate disparities and the role of the centre in fostering and reinforcing them, before moving onto sub-regional differences within states?
looks like mr.hanumantha rao started with his recommendation (the case for a separate telangana) first, and added all the jumpy logic, or justification, later.