At the end of a three-year term, as Dr Kaushik Basu gets set to present his last economic survey tomorrow, CNBC-TV18 asks him, should he even bother? After all, none of the fresh ideas proposed by him have found any acceptance in the finance ministry's staid policies. Aakansha Sethi of CNBC-TV18 brings a quick heads-up on what is to be expected in the survey.
Basu has been one of the finance ministry's most eclectic chief economic advisors, she reports. In his first year at North Block, he introduced several fresh ideas to tackle inflation, corruption and boost investment.
However, three years later, as he gets set to present his last survey, the team at North Block is faced with high inflation, moderating growth, a burgeoning deficit and a weak political economy.
While FY13 growth is likely to be forecast at about 8.5%, what are the solutions that Basu will propose this time? Remember that FY12 growth forecast at 9% is likely to be missed by two percentage points. Recommendations like FDI in retail have borne the brunt of politics while direct transfer of subsidies is still at trial stage.
"I was frightened about everyday decision-making and the speed with which we okay, we give permission to someone to start something, the speed with which we allow a firm to close down. On FDI in retail, decontrol of diesel I might have a view, but I accept that India is a democracy, there is a collective decision-making, and I don't have all the wisdom. There are other opinions, other views; we want to bring it on broad. It has to happen at some point or you have to take a decision not to do it," Basu said on April 24, 2011.
The last survey spoke of the need to foster the culture of honesty and trustworthiness for rapid and robust growth- a suggestion that has possibly been the least implemented. The next year will perhaps tell if FY13 will be a similar story.