PRE- ELECTIONS – AN ECONOMY BOOSTER?

about 11 months ago
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Elections are good for the people. Forget the new Govt coming in place; what is good is the frenzy at which infrastructure build takes place just before the polls.

Travel anywhere around the country today, major cities, almost every road is dug up, new bridges are being built at a frenzy, monorail and metro projects which were stuck in a quagmire of red tape, suddenly get all approvals. Yes, today, we ate stuck in incessant traffic jams causing tremendous amonts of inconvenience but be thankful to the polls ahead – at least we will get some roads and bridges before the elections.

Data from the National Highway Authority of India shows that though H1FY19 was slow as NHAI was focused more on land acquisition; the tide is to turn in H2FY19. It has set a target to award 20,000 Km of projects in entire of FY19. As per NHAI website, Rs.25,000 crore of bids are expected to open in Q3FY19. There is sure to be a sharp uptick, what with Modi having to resort to populist moves to ensure he wins with a thumping majority in 2019.

This apart, people will be wooed with a lot of freebies and things are being made cheaper though the Govt can ill afford it.  Political parties promise the sky and earth, which if at all implemented could bleed the country to death. The biggest threat – loan waivers. This is something which no bank can afford but be assured, politicians will go ahead and announce waivers anyway.

People know that this is the time when all their woes could actually get resolved and politicians might really listen to their problems. So to get that water line fixed, the street lights work done, to get a park for children – this might be the best time to visit your local politician and he will take up your issue with a zeal and enthusiasm akin to fighting for freedom.

Elections are good for the economy in general – apart from the infra build up, it brings out all the black money collected by politicians to fund their various rallies and freebies. This is a time for others, the supply chain of these politicians to make money. Newspapers and the entire digital and electronic media will make the maximum money now through the various advertising campaigns. In the 2014 election campaign, Rahul Gandhi is said to have spent around Rs.700 crore; can you imagine such money ever coming out from the coffers but for these elections?

When we see the frenzy of road building and major stalled projects taking off, it does make us wonder whether it would be a good idea to have elections every four years? It will make the political party more accountable as they have to work at least from the third year and it would also mean more frequent airing of the black money in the system.

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