Can Manomhan and Chidambram Duo Deliver Now ?

In a day of political drama, characterized by various allegations/suitcase politics, the incumbent UPA govt won the trust vote yesterday by a bigger than expected margin of 19 votes. Besides going ahead with the nuclear deal, tackling the high inflation (especially in the context of a not so good monsoon) needs to be priority #1 task for the Government.

Dr. Singh’s new ally the Samajwadi Party has voiced concern on FDI in retail. However, reforms that appear non-controversial include those in pensions, divestments, banking and finance-related amendments should get a boost.

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2005 focuses on establishment of a Pension Fund Authority, marks a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution concept; seeks to privatise pensions through pension fund managers (only mutual funds).

The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2005 seeks to include regulating acquisition of shares in banking companies and making voting rights of investors in private sector banks commensurate to shareholding.

Apart from this the commerce ministry is already planning a eGoM meeting for SEZs land acquisition which is highly unlikely to sail through in its current form 6-8 months ahead of the General Elections.