Sone Ki Chidiya Movement

जहाँ डाल डाल पर सोने की िचिड़याँ करती है बसे र ा


Sone Ki Chidiya

A Manifesto for Total Reform1
This draft Agenda For Change is written in the form of a manifesto for an imagined SKC Party. We hope that parties contesting the 2013/2014 Lok Sabha elections will make use of the reform proposals outlined in this manifesto. Let us all do what is best for India’s future.

Heaven of Freedom
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)


Draft, 22 September 2013.



1. Vision............................................................................... 1 2. Beliefs.............................................................................. 8
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 We believe:............................................................................... 8 Modern India: the challenge of nation building.........................8 Rights and freedoms come with associated responsibilities.....9 India and the world.................................................................11

3. Focus of the first 100 Days............................................12
3.1 3.2 Ten focus areas.......................................................................12 Reporting on progress.............................................................12

4. Unleash the people, leash the government....................13
4.1 Constitutional leash on government.......................................13 4.1.1 Key amendments to the Constitution, and fundamental review..............................................................................14 4.2 The government we form always recognise citizens as the master........................................................................................ 14 4.2.1 Citizens must directly decide, where possible.................14 4.2.2 No unnecessary secrets from the people (transparency) 14 4.2.3 Citizens must directly supervise the government, wherever possible............................................................15 4.2.4 Lowest responsible level of government must decide wherever possible [subsidiarity]......................................15 4.3 The government must not assume to be our master..............16 4.3.1 Treat us all the same.......................................................16 4.3.2 Don’t tell us what to do...................................................16 4.3.3 Don’t tell us what we can or can’t say............................17 4.3.4 Don’t interfere in our religious beliefs and affairs...........17 4.3.5 Don’t tell us which occupation or trade we can undertake ......................................................................................... 18 4.3.6 Don’t touch our property!................................................18 4.4 What a government should, or may do...................................19 4.4.1 “Must do” or core (first order) functions..........................19 4.4.2 Some additional (second order) functions.......................19 4.4.3 Government should entirely avoid “third order” functions ......................................................................................... 19

5. Eliminating corruption and criminality from India’s political system.........................................................20
5.1 5.2 Reduced opportunity for corruption........................................20 Incentives to keep the corrupt and criminal out of politics.....21 5.2.1 Negative incentives: Deterrence ....................................21 5.2.2 Positive incentives: Attracting good people into politics. 23 5.3 Strengthening democracy.......................................................24

ii Sone Ki Chidiya.

5.3.1 Individual voting records of MPs/MLAs to be published . .24 5.3.2 No genuine citizen’s voting rights should be compromised ......................................................................................... 24 5.3.3 Online voting by defence and police personnel...............24 5.3.4 NRIs’ right to vote...........................................................25 5.3.5 Platform for all candidates to communicate with villagers ......................................................................................... 25 5.3.6 Judicial power to review laws for Constitutionality to be strengthened....................................................................25 5.4 Review of electoral system policies.........................................25 5.4.1 Review of anti-defection law...........................................25 5.4.2 Review of election expenditure limit...............................25 5.4.3 Study of feasibility of ‘right to recall’..............................26 5.4.4 Study of feasibility of alternative voting systems............26

6. New machinery of government......................................27
6.1 New 6.1.1 6.1.2 6.1.3 structure to deliver government responsibilities.............27 Freedom Ministry.............................................................27 Strategic review and restricting of governance ..............27 Abolition of concentred bureaucratic extra-constitutional power............................................................................... 28 Creation of an entirely new civil service machine...................29 6.2.1 Senior positions to be converted purely to contractual jobs.................................................................................. 29 6.2.2 Non-contractual roles to be modernised.........................29 Zero corruption in bureaucracy...............................................29 6.3.1 Reduced opportunities for corruption in bureaucracy.....29 6.3.2 Incentives to reduce corruption.......................................29 Strengthening local government.............................................30 Modern governance frameworks and mechanisms.................31 6.5.1 World-best policy and regulatory frameworks.................31 6.5.2 Regulatory gatekeeping and review organisation...........31 6.5.3 E-governance..................................................................32 6.5.4 All regulation to sunset every 10 years...........................32 6.5.5 Reducing regulation to a total of 10,000 pages..............32 6.5.6 Reducing red tape (costs of regulation) by 50 per cent. .32


6.3 6.4 6.5

7. Doing more with less.....................................................33
7.1 Revenue principles..................................................................33 7.1.1 Minimal taxation..............................................................33 7.1.2 Modestly progressive direct tax system..........................33 7.1.3 Reducing marginal rates.................................................33 7.1.4 Minimising regressive indirect taxes...............................33 7.1.5 Cautious use of consumption tax....................................34 7.1.6 Broadening the tax base through a simple tax system...34 7.1.7 Reducing gap between possible and actual realisation...34 7.1.8 Review of transaction tax models...................................34 7.2 Expenditure principles.............................................................34 7.2.1 Prohibition on deficit financing........................................34 7.2.2 Repayment of debt and borrowing only for physical and social infrastructure.........................................................35 7.2.3 Debt repayment through sale of government lands and PSUs................................................................................. 35


...4 Deregulation and decontrol of prices...........................41 9.........48 11.... First order function: Defence and Foreign affairs.............2 Key human rights outcomes ...3 Reducing procedural delays.......37 Specific defence and foreign policies.............................51 11.......... 35 7.....................1 Accountability and resourcing.........................44 10..48 11.. ..........42 10....................50 11.......4 Abolishing the inflation tax: Sound money.....................2............ 37 Integration of defence with foreign policy..........................................................49 11..........................................8...........41 9..............4 Removal of contempt of court provisions...............1 8...........2 Getting the government out of Sone Ki Chidiya......................41 9....5 North East.......3.................................42 10.......3...........3...............7 Standardization and quality control....................................41 9...................................2 Converting national parks into regulated private spaces ..........................4.......1 Solutions to ensure environmental justice............................................2 Greater use of private initiative ................3................53 iv http://sonekichidiya........3 Making laws accessible and clear to the people..................1 Citizens’ ID Numbers..................... 35 8..........3..........................................................5 Free labour markets (with collective bargaining).8 Environmental justice and sustainability..................35 7.......................................43 10..42 10....................41 10.......................................................................3 Natural resources policy...42 10...........3 Defence....1..........................3 Police and policing reforms........50 11............................1 World best-practice disclosure principles. modern system of laws and justice.........1 Well-defined property rights.............................4....2...............................................40 9...............47 11.....45 10.....38 9.....................50 11..............50 11.....2 Jammu and Kashmir...49 11......1 9...................................3..........6 No second guessing the growth direction of the economy......1....2 9..........................40 Reviewing and improving penal laws................................................. First order function: Justice.......49 11....................1 Effective..............................2 Efficient delivery of justice........3......3 Ayodhya temple..................8............35 7............................48 11.44 10...................35 7........................2.1 Regulation of monopoly........2 Deregulation of business........................49 11....1...............2 8....41 9.3 Well regulated free markets..37 8.................. First order function: Internal security ...........2................................. First order function: Right to produce and trade................. 51 11..1 Phase 1: Monetary rule for maximum 3 per cent inflation .....................................................1 Significant increase in the number of judges..............................45 10..51 12....3 Disclosure principles...40 Specific internal security policies..............................4 Naxalism .........3.....2 Phase 2: Monetary rule for maximum 1 per cent inflation ........................ Second order function: Equality of opportunity.................................7.........................8......................

.....2 Efficient creation and management of state-provided infrastructure.................................60 12............4.1.....4............2 Role of the state to ensure a social minimum ..................1 Sports..... and Foreign Exchange Markets..............2 Education..........1 Private investment in infrastructure.........................55 12......................... 55 12.........................1 Role of charities.....................67 15........................................................................4 Non-discrimination by the state....1 India does not need a population policy...............2.1.............70 15....65 14..................66 14.....4 No role for the state in matters of religion...........12........2 The government doesn’t have a role in “preserving” cultural heritage....4 Strong insurance markets..........1 Details.............................................................. Third order functions of government................................................................................... and basic health for the poor 59 12...6 Information Technology.. Implications for specific policy areas..........2......53 12..........70 15..........................63 13........................................3 Industry policy...........................................63 13......3 Ensuring emergency health for all.....................1..........69 15........................4..1 Infrastructure ..........................................................63 13............1 Agriculture...............................................4 Social capital and international resurgence of India............1 Eliminating poverty in three years.......................62 12.......................................................5 Letting tribal India engage with modernisation at its own pace.........1 Market based agriculture industry..........3 Global warming..........53 12............................61 12.......65 14..................................2...2 Ensuring access to high quality education for the children of the poor.66 15.................................................65 14........5 Financial....................... not a Uniform Civil Code..............4..................69 15..1 Education industry to be freed from government shackles................................... 65 14...1..............................53 12..................2 A minimum standard for everyone..................................63 14.....................................................1 Phasing out reservations.......... Second order function: Infrastructure......................................................4.......................62 13.................................. 67 15....... Capital..................4..................................62 12.....70 v ......70 15................60 12.......................................2 Subsidised loans to students for higher education ....1...3 Ensuring greater respect for women............69 15.............67 15......................

(Series Editor: Gurcharan Das). British rule was a huge blow and pushed us back by hundreds of years. 2012. thus creating employment opportunities for all 5. Mukund. 30 April 2013. Total elimination of extreme poverty in three years through targeted negative income tax 7. India was also humanity’s guiding light. more an oppressed nation ruled by tyrants. we are hardly any better. particularly women. Vision An India to be proud of2 1. with many of world religions and philosophies having emerged from here. Better prices for farmers through phased deregulation. Kanakalatha. Sone Ki Chidiya 1 . It is time we do something about this. It was therefore viewed as a golden bird ( Sone Ki Chidiya). Merchants of Tamilakam: Pioneers of International Trade. Given this proud history. rationalised taxes because government will not undertake unnecessary roles 8. sanitation and broadband 9. Security for everyone. A rupee that is not degraded by excessive inflation 4. High quality infrastructure including transport. with end to black money 3.1. agriculture and craftsmanship were unparalleled. We supplied most luxuries and needs for the Roman Empire and Europe3. But sixty five years after the Britishers left. And we can’t blame the British now – after six decades of self-rule. We are less a Republic today. Today’s India is surely not what the heroes of our independence struggle dreamt of. Low. water. 2 3 Draft. see Foreword. Removal of obstructions on production and trade. Access to high quality school education even for the poorest 6. decadence and corruption of India. and quick justice for all 2. In return. power. We must take our share of responsibility for the continuing injustice. without increasing food costs For thousands of years. Total elimination of corruption within three years. India was the final destination for most of the world’s gold. Electoral reforms to motivate good people to join public life 10. Delhi: Allen Lane. our science.

are more oppressive than our colonial masters ever were. wisdom. complete overhaul of governance. 2 Sone Ki Chidiya. Politicians. The time has come to build on these movements and not just demand. Instead of governing. mid-sized countries like South Korea. India. sitting on vast piles of black money. harassed and even killed. Dishonest. have left in droves to settle abroad. unable to use their talents in India. but ensure. or character. again. Our corrupt leaders. . policies and governance systems. Severe tax inefficiencies (over 30 types of taxes) have put a brake on saving and investment. so governments can engage in business. The current conditions are reminiscent of those in which the Mughal empire broke up. If citizens demand justice they are met with police brutality. now has a mere 1. making India the best country in the world. with innocent youngsters arrested for expressing opinions on social media. reducing productivity and destroying the nation’s character. and refuse to introduce much needed world-best frameworks. a country we can be proud of. The last two respected pillars of the Republic – courts and the media – are at risk of becoming an extension of the ruling party and corrupt interests. Tiny countries like Singapore. and destruction of basic liberties such as property rights. Our Constitution.Our ‘honorable’ politicians have degraded India and brought our once proud country to its knees: • India is more famous worldwide for corruption than for its knowledge. Our police are known mainly as bribeseekers than our protectors. In this darkest of hours over the past three hundred years. enforce outdated British laws. which had 25 per cent share of world trade not so long ago. the ongoing antiblack money and anti-corruption movements of 2009-2012 – under the leadership of Swami Ramdev and Anna Hazare – have tapped the country’s deep unhappiness and brought about an awakening that is now unstoppable. Japan. compared with one-third of the global economy in the past. corrupt. and criminal elements reach the top in India.2 per cent share. Our economy is just 2. to facilitate their loot. while the honest are sidelined. Malaysia and Hong Kong. innovation. No citizen is safe and justice is virtually non-existent. ravaged by exceptions to equality of status and liberty.7 per cent of the global economy. while preventing citizens from producing and trading. Most of our talented people. But politicians who incite rioting and murder escape untouched. Public property is plundered by politicians. is a bare shadow of our original Constitution. Taiwan. India is an oppressive police state. our governments have spent more time in establishing a centrally planned economy. • • • • • • • • • Government is our servant but acts like our master. Our corrupt politicians have hoarded massive amounts of black money which is used in unproductive assets like land and gold. and large nations like China have all made significant progress but India continues to resemble tyrannies like Zimbabwe and kleptocracies like Russia. who give away mines and minerals at throw-away prices to their cronies.

9. including the poorest. the land of bountiful fruits and plentiful water. even as they get an equal opportunity to contribute to society. and the ill-gotten of the corrupt confiscated. • • 8. not the caste to which they were born or whom they know. kapda aur makaan. get a direct transfer of an appropriate amount to bring them above the poverty line. dark with the crops of the harvest. Where we are safe from criminals and from politicians. Where women are protected and respected. courts quick to deliver dispassionate justice. Where environment is created in which everyone is enabled to earn their own roti. good governance. are looting India. woman or man goes hungry or feels unsafe. with the poor also given access to basic care through social insurance. Where everyone. liberty. 4. 6.Clarion call for action We must wake up and take charge of our own country. Where our governments respect us as masters of the nation which acts like a larger family. but with accountability to parents and students through appropriate regulation). and (2) demand government. and where Sone Ki Chidiya chirps on every branch on every tree. The Sone Ki Chidiya movement hereby gives a clarion call to Indians to: (1) overthrow the tyrants who in the name of governing. Where we are free to pursue our happiness and spiritual goals so long as we don’t harm others. Where there is prompt and proportionate justice: • • • with investigations and decisions undertaken at “fast track” speed. 3. policemen and bureaucrats who loot the public. We want to release the energies of our people so they can make India once again the land of milk and honey. and accountability from We want an India where no child. Sone Ki Chidiya 3 . children of the poor attend schools similar to those that children of the rich attend (with citizens free to establish their own institutions of learning and learn without government’s permission. get an equal opportunity to achieve their potential: • the poor don’t have to depend on corrupted welfare schemes but instead. and where we think of the whole world as our larger family: वसुधैव क ु टु मबकम. Where prosperity is rightfully earned and not stolen or redistributed. सुजलाम् सुफलाम् मलयज शीतलाम् शसयशामलां मातरम् । वनदे मातरम् Proposed vision for New India We propose the following vision to be improved as we go along. We want an India: 1. 2. and everyone gets access to immediate emergency health care. 7. 5. Where children are ambitious and sure that merit will be rewarded.

11. 16. ports and railways. 12. and and if any criminal get elected or an elected person indulges in crime.Where citizens are able to produce and trade without the nanny state’s control so that: • • • India operates as a single market and goods can be transported without paying at every state or town border. knowledge. and other critically needed infrastructure. education and health. 17. taxes are low and borne by those who can pay. we can buy and sell land and property without using corrupt means. Given the chaos and corruption seen today.Where development is sustainable because incentive-based systems preserve wildlife and forestry. good persons are allowed to contest elections. freedom (subject to accountability).Where government officials are fully accountable. we will know we are in the right direction when everyone becomes more prosperous. waiting to permanently leave India. justice. and the land of science. social oppression and discrimination become a thing of the past.10. How will we know we have succeeded? We will know that we are going in the right direction when security. spirituality. and minimise any unnecessary use of chemicals. many of India’s most talented citizens line up in foreign embassies. and integrity which it once was. sufficient roads. any approvals needed for trade and industry are provided quickly through a single window. he is promptly removed after a speedy trial. Principles of good governance 4 Sone Ki Chidiya. In addition. and bad ones disqualified.Where the government operates within its means.Where the government facilitates clean water. and the status of women will rapidly increase. corruption is totally eliminated and black money is declared and (where it has been illegally taken abroad) brought back to India. and our currency is not made worthless because of inflation. and where the government doesn’t forcibly take our land to hand over to big business. where property in mines is allocated competitively with a view to achieving significant returns for the public. 15. and poverty becomes history.Where Sanskrit and people’s indigenous languages are nurtured and strengthened. 13.Where our property is safe: • • • 14. and Indians who previously left return as the world sees India as the land of freedom and opportunity. power. Not only would we want these lines to reverse but we will know we have succeeded when the world’s best graduates are desperate to migrate to India.Where rogues and criminals certainly cannot become MPs and MLAs: • • only honest. and corruption. debt is paid off. . and we are able to trade globally – consistent with our great history as the world’s foremost trading nation.

with some powers loaned to the local government. Sone Ki Chidiya 5 . so there are no losers except the corrupt. Where such delegation is implemented in the interest of effectiveness. and use their own taxes (local rates) to become as financially independent as possible for their local needs and infrastructure. even convicted people to enter the system. 3) The government must performs its basic role very well A government’s main role is to provide defence and police (security). and direct prices paid to farmers. be swift. the government must follow the following basic principles: 1) Democracy and subsidiarity (िवक े नद्रीकरण) Democracy is not license to oppress on minority: Democracy is a tool for public debate and decision making. to the central government. We believe that all powers except those explicitly entrusted to the state should remain with the individual (and family). public service jobs in security (police. pay them well (according to market rates) and hold them to account. and whether it can deliver a net benefit. Governments must. Democracy must therefore be strongly overseen by constitutional constraints that prevent any undue imposition on minorities. murderers and the corrupt. 5) Transitional arrangements It is important that changes are not disruptive and are well planned. Public servants at all levels must be held to account for delivery of results. in particular. and be seen to be done. by which the individual is sovereign. and justice. should be fully empowered to levy. After delivery of security and justice. some inefficient subsidies might continue for a while. or limitations on freedom. defence) and justice will increased while many other jobs will reduce. a few others to the state government and only the fewest. collect. This might mean that till prices are fully freed. such as village or mohalla. and not an end in itself. Government should catch and punish all criminals. the rule of law must be ensured. 4) After doing its basic roles properly. As the ancient Indian saying goes: जहाँ का राजा हो वयापारी वहाँ की पजा हो िभखारी. Performance must be rewarded. As a result of such revision of government functions.For this vision to become a reality. the government could potentially facilitate infrastructure that can’t be built by private enterprise. True swaraj can only be achieved if functions of government are delegated to the lowest effective level. This is also the principle of subsidiarity. the government can perform a few additional functions It is very dangerous for a government to take on the role of a businessman. subject to accountability. Tenured services like IAS must be replaced with contractual services that allow termination for non-performance. Justice should be easy to seek. We envisage that government will get out of many of its current functions and consider new functions only on the basis of a world-best policy framework that tests whether government has a role. and help citizens achieve their potential (on merit) through equal opportunity. Local bodies. and nonperformance (based on performance feedback from citizens) lead to termination without notice. and severe punishment must be enforced for corruption. give incentives to good people to enter public life through significant electoral reforms that also eliminate incentives for crooked. 2) Strong accountability mechanisms We must ensure that governments hire people of high integrity and calibre.

The emphasis on nationhood must not come at the expense of the primacy of the individual. यतो भयुदयानी शोयस िसिद: स धमर : 4 We stand for the principle of maximum freedom for the individual and minimum interference by the state consistent with its obligation to enforce contracts. if someone enters only into the world of spiritualism.Values for a New India The following principles of national building. High fertility is more often than not a symptom of desperation. In particular. not whimsy. being our servant. we expect birth rates to rapidly decline. Government should treat each citizen equally without reference to any innate or group characteristic such as gender or religion including ‘caste’. any social insurance decisions should be made solely on the economic. 4) Family as key social unit We recognise and value the role the family plays in bringing up new generations and imbibing the values that lead an individual to self-actualisation. prevent and punish those who harm others. not religious or caste considerations. we achieve our potential. should apply. will achieve more than they themselves could achieve. The government. 3) Individuals are the foundation of Bharat All men and women are unique and form the foundation of a society. Its role is limited to preventing us from harming others. 6) Freedom comes with accountability 4 In the Vedas it is said that if someone enters only into the world of materialism. must not “teach us” us how to live or direct the choices we make. if educated. Further. he too enters into a world of darkness. sisters. and daughters in the formation of a great India. and elimination of poverty. and society to its greatest success. 5) Freedom to pursue spiritual and material goals Each Indian should be free to pursue his or her material and/or spiritual goals. as parents find it worthwhile to invest in their children’s education. 2) Equal opportunity We believe that a free society must ensure equal opportunity for all. Through our individual striving and learning. But equally. Only he who seeks both can swim across the three worlds. of poverty. both of which form an important part of India’s culture. This would mean a minimum standard for all even in matters of marriage and inheritance. we value the role of mothers. he enters into a world of darkness. Fertility tends to decline as people get richer and become hopeful that their children. As good policies are introduced. based on the ancient Indian tradition of open debate and respectful discussion. 1) Samagra Bharat India is one nation. enterprise and energy. through working with and serving others. particularly through education and healthcare for the poorest. our large population will produce unparalleled wealth. 6 Sone Ki Chidiya. . welfare and happiness of the people depend on their initiative. The rule of law. With the right education and incentives. We hold that progress. and the community its best results. can guide us in our efforts to make an India we can be proud of.

Sone Ki Chidiya 7 . goods. and natural resources should not be exploited unnecessarily. But what about self-harm? Many things in life can harm us in excess. spirituality and an ethical compass. The scientific method. There is no freedom to harm others. India is the most prolific birthplace of all three because of the great synergy of democracy and diversity. The Indian religious and philosophical traditions can provide a great deal of all three. We value freedom of occupation and ability to trade. Perhaps a useful expression to summarise these aspirations is आधयाितमक नयायवाद. the use of ‘infant industry’ arguments after 65 years of independence is not tenable. That is the basic principle of all Indian systems of thought. they should be treated with due respect and their pain minimised. and a tolerant India. In particular. Even then. and capital) for thousands of years. or even in moderation. 7) Truth and the scientific method A powerful ancient Indian dictum says: Satyameva Jayate. Rg Veda I-89-1) and openness to debate (वाद-िववाद and चचार). philosophy and religion.” 9) Freedom of occupation and trade India was a great free market (in labour. which means that truth alone triumphs. Further.Freedom comes with accountability (कमर फल िसदांत). or even advocating social reform. where animals are consumed as food. particularly given the enormous medicinal uses of plants. Arguably. The planet needs a sense of moral order. with roots in ancient Indian science. Free sale of agricultural products is particularly crucial to our farm sector. is one of the best ways to seek the truth. But we do not agree that coercion ( government) should be used to prohibit private folly. we hope that the inevitable differences among participants in the Sone Ki Chidiya movement will be resolved through debate in a search for the truth. We agree with Jean Pierre Lehmann that “in a global environment desperate for ideas. indigenous Indian thought had more diversity than the combined diversity of all modern systems of thought. We believe that except for regulations for public decorum and public safety. The whole world came to India’s shores to buy and to sell. In any event. “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes”. Accountability is not limited to humans. We are responsible for guiding our friends and family. Truth requires openness to new ideas (आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यनतु िवश्वतः – “Let auspicious thoughts come unto us from every direction”. services. Accordingly. everyone must be free to make their mistakes and learn from them. A society that follows such principles can live in mutual harmony with itself and its environment. 8) Diversity and tolerance We value diversity of opinion and belief. Perhaps the occasion where freedom to trade can be questioned is when goods are dumped into India at prices well below cost of production. plant diversity must be maintained. free choices on quality and price are better for Indians than imposing barriers which can lower India’s long-term competitiveness. But as Gandhi said. Even animals have a right to live without pain.

with local decisions made at the local level. can live in dignity through social insurance. In parliamentary democracy as the best system for the expression and fulfilment of the aspirations of a free people.2. freedom and equality of social and political status. speech. the following clarify our vision and beliefs. In the importance of voluntary effort and voluntary organisations. giving all citizens equal rights under the law. association and choice. 8 Sone Ki Chidiya. to own property and to achieve. • • • • • • • • • • • • 2. bound together by an overriding and unifying commitment to India. in the right to be independent. its people and the great future that lies ahead for them. founded on liberal ideals of human dignity. . In the rule of law and justice.2 Modern India: the challenge of nation building India is one of the world’s great democracies. In a just and humane society. 2. Beliefs While the Vision has outlined a number of beliefs. In basic freedoms of thought. In reasonable equality of opportunity. and in the need to encourage initiative and personal responsibility. where those who are unable to provide for themselves at a given point in time. worship. In the separation and distribution of powers as the best protection for the democratic process. with all Indians having the opportunity to reach their full potential in a tolerant national community. India’s society has a rich diversity of cultures and lifestyles in an environment of harmony and mutual respect. In the innate worth of the individual. consumer choice and reward for effort as proven means of providing prosperity for all Indians. In subsidiarity and the decentralisation of power. In competitive enterprise. In the family as the primary institution for fostering values on which a cohesive society is built. In India playing a constructive role in the pursuit and maintenance of international peace. In Government keeping to its core business and not competing with the private sector.1 We believe: • • In India.

or equal social status for all. there is little the Indian landscape does not offer. Freedom can only be meaningful if individuals have the opportunity to participate. Part of what makes India unique is the beauty of its environment and diversity. The heritage of our natural environment. its opportunity and its tolerance. By both the laws it enacts and the taxation it exacts.3 Rights and freedoms come with associated responsibilities We believe in rights. We believe these are enduring values. no less than our cultural heritage. Above all. lest the dead hand of government kills our species for ever. We are the enemy of privilege. Sone Ki Chidiya 9 . initiative and personal responsibility are fostered can prosperity be attained. Nation building is not just a matter of cultural values and environmental protection . Only in a society where individuals are free to pursue their individual goals can tyranny be avoided. cruel and discouraging to human achievement. the celebration of camaraderie as Indians and an uncompromising commitment to democratic freedoms for everyone. Our young people are the future of the Indian nation. From magnificent tropical jungles to austere deserts and the world’s highest snow-capped mountains. giving all of us hope in our own personal future and optimism for India’s future as the world’s centre of gravity. Respect for the individual implies tolerance of others. our focus is on the future. government should interfere as little with the freedom of the individual as is consistent with the maintenance of a fair and open society. Only in a society where opportunity. This must be done through duly regulated private enterprise. But we cannot do that through government. The role of government is to set the framework of laws and other rules within which individuals and families can freely make decisions about their own lives and pursue their goals with confidence. to be preserved and passed on to future generations. 2.India was the most prosperous nation in the world and we can make it once gain the most prosperous of all. We therefore believe in limited government. We would also like to significantly strengthen social is also about providing opportunity for advancement to all Indians. One of the defining features of India of the future would be a commitment to social equality – a disdain for caste structures. All Indians should be rewarded for their productive enterprise and those in crisis or need due to unavoidable reasons. freedoms and responsibilities of all people as individuals as the surest foundation of strong community life. after their best effort should be assured a fugal level of public support. Intrusive government has been demonstrated by history to be inefficient. sectional interests and narrow prejudice. We do not believe in absolute and unfettered freedom but in freedom bound by accountability. to achieve and to develop their talents. The rights of an individual are limited and constrained also by the equal rights of other individuals. They deserve a future in which they can fulfil their talent and forge an India which they can be proud of. The foundations of modern India are its freedom. is one of our most precious assets.

We are committed to promoting the conservation of India’s cultural and architectural heritage through community and private initiative. or not. provides sound finance for government services. low net debt and high real business investment. associations. We believe that an economy based on private property. low inflation. profitable and competitive enterprises and through breaking down any centralised controls. The security and prosperity of all Indians depend on sound financial management producing economic stability. Government should not provide services that can be better delivered by competitive enterprise. But we recognise the limits of government equally. India’s Constitution embodies the democratic values of the Indian people. and to that extent we believe in well regulated competitive markets where none can cheat or harm. and for the tendency of politicians to be careless with other people’s money. that regional and rural communities face unique problems. We want an open economy that provides quality jobs and high living standards across the nation. Within the broad framework outlined above we recognize the diverse nature of the interests of Indians. courts to maintain the rule of law. establishing a democratic parliament. . free enterprise and competitive markets will produce the wealth and jobs Indians want. encouraging workplace reform through promoting the shared interests of employers and employees in building efficient. charities and community groups freely formed to achieve a great diversity of aims and purposes. A free society relies on voluntary participation in clubs. high employment and a state debt that does not risk the economic well-being of future generations. cohesive. encouraging competitive markets by monitoring monopoly and prohibiting unfair trading practices. We believe the best strategy for jobs and prosperity includes: • giving priority to sound economic fundamentals. low inflation. For instance. Liberals recognise the capacity of markets. building a taxation system which enhances fairness and incentives to work and save. rising employment levels. limits on the powers of government and protection of liberty.We support the family as the fundamental institution for the raising and nurturing of children and for making each individual an integral part of society. Achieving these goals in a competitive global marketplace means we must have on-going economic reform. or even more. We strongly support and encourage involvement in this civil society. ensuring that all have the choice to belong. supporting the role of small business as the engine room of job generation through reduction of unnecessary regulation and provision of high quality infrastructure. • • • • • 10 Sone Ki Chidiya. Government failure arises from the tendency of power to corrupt. as well as their limits. low interest rates. to unions and professional associations. including responsible fiscal management.

maintain a strong national defence capability. including apprenticeships. provides avenues for re-training and re-skilling. especially for those who are unemployed. that equips people with relevant skills for rewarding jobs. strengthening (through appropriate incentives) a high quality and internationally competitive education and training system. while being wary of empty words. science and technological development. facilitating a world-class infrastructure. strengthen our international relationships.boosts business investment and exports. or to create their own. boosting private initiatives for innovation. a longstanding history of links with Commonwealth countries and recently with the USA.4 India and the world India’s international interests encompass an important network of relationships with our SAARC neighbours. business. maximise the economic and strategic opportunities with countries in Asia. promotes simplicity and consistency and is internationally competitive. with an appropriate mix of security alliances and self-reliance. • • • • minimising the regulatory burden on business. and corporatising and privatising government business enterprises to provide better and cheaper services. We believe that India’s priority in foreign and trade policy must be to: • further develop the capacity of an internationally competitive Indian economy to benefit from the globalisation of trade and investment flows. moving toward unilateral free trade which is always most beneficial through the competitive and innovative energy and it generates. We recognise the growing influence of globalisation but guard the sovereignty of our nation. and encourages life-long learning. giving all Indians the opportunity to invest in. making India an attractive destination for global investment. and a continuing development of our other international relationships including with China and the rest of Asia. • • • • Sone Ki Chidiya 11 . participate in international organisations including the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations. consistent with protecting consumers. all of which are important in the emerging wired world. • • • • 2. the environment and the safety of employees.

You will then be able to see how each commitment is tracking and point out how these can be better delivered. and reporting on these commitments regularly from then on. To make this happen. High quality infrastructure including transport. Total elimination of poverty in three years 7.2 Reporting on progress In the first 90 days we will establish Key Performance Indicators for each commitment in this manifesto. we will deliver.3. We invite you to join hands and work together. Low taxes because government will only perform key roles 8. . with the help of all Indians. Motivating good people into public life through electoral reforms 10. Total elimination of corruption in three years 3.1 Ten focus areas 1. Strong rupee not degraded by inflation 4. The people of India are rapidly losing confidence in democracy today. every six months. Security for everyone and quick justice 2. there was hope that India would make unprecedented progress in every field. We take responsibility for bringing India to an even keel. It was the time when Nehru spoke of our tryst with destiny. all commitments in this manifesto. 3. power. 12 Sone Ki Chidiya. 3. with the following areas being a key focus for the first 100 days. Access to high quality schools for the poorest 6. and preparing to launch into the future as the world’s most successful nation in human history. and water 9. where corrupt and criminals are elected to Parliament and good people shun politics thinking of it as a disease far worse than leprosy.Better prices for farmers till prices are deregulated This will be achieved through world best policy and governance frameworks that are detailed in this document. None anticipated that India’s democracy would decay to the level it has today. Focus of the first 100 Days When India became independent and declared itself a democratic republic. Removal of obstructions on production and trade 5.

But more importantly. For instance. keep non-performance and tyranny in check. not their master or ruler. primarily due to the transaction costs of direct democracy. We will abide by all Constitutional restraints imposed by the Indian Constitution and endeavour to make these constraints stronger by restoring the liberties enshrined in the original Constitution. Further. 4. hold and dispose of property. by allowing citizens to replace non-performing governments. perhaps. Representatives should not imagine that they have any powers beyond those granted by the Constitution. The reference here was to the fact that Nehru had started moving into areas in which the government has no role. At all times they remain our agents whose salaries we pay. shop and factory alike”. Hence the need for delegated decision making that is constitutionally conscribed. after the runaway growth of government interventions that has destroyed enterprise in India. However. a balance is necessary between direct democracy and delegated decision making through representatives. we will keep government on a tight leash and unleash the people of India. we will bring back the full fundamental right to acquire. A government must therefore always see itself as the servant of the people. leading to the drying up of initiative and enterprise in land. trade and occupation and just compensation for any property compulsory acquired by the state for public purposes”. Many decades later. Unleash the people. Constitutional restrictions on what a government can do are therefore extremely relevant. in its limited functions.4. any form of unlimited direct democracy can ultimately lead to the tyranny of majorities over minorities. Democratically made laws are crucial for the legitimacy of our social contract. It can be an umpire and night watchman.1 Constitutional leash on government Democracy is a necessary requirement of the principles of equal freedom and equal treatment for all under the law. Sone Ki Chidiya 13 . The party noted that “a sense of stability and incentive for individual effort can be restored only by strict adherence to the fundamental rights and guarantee specified in the Constitution as originally adopted in respect of freedom of property. democratic institutions. leash the government In 1959 the newly formed Swatantra Party noted that “steps should be taken to remove the pervading sense of uncertainty that has been created by the present policies of the government and its varying forecasts of future plans.

2. The government lives off these productive activities and is required to abide by the Constitution and deliver the necessary services. A few key Constitutional amendments will be moved as early as possible: a) Removal of the word “socialistic” from the Preamble of our Constitution.2 The government we form always recognise citizens as the master Although a government’s job is to govern. and violative of the fundamental right to property . since this term. 4.1 Citizens must directly decide. it is time to review it from first principles and to consider ways to create a much simpler Constitution that is focused on liberty. including imposing stringent requirements on secrecy. we will support platforms that allow citizens to directly participate in decisionmaking and monitoring government. Panchayat Raj institutions and discouraging political defections. or 14 Sone Ki Chidiya. e. and that citizens are masters. which has been diluted to the extent that today there is only a notional right left. These will be reviewed and improved.4. within the funds made available by citizens.2 No unnecessary secrets from the people (transparency) The government can be thought of as the “board of directors” of a nation. Citizens produce wealth through their efforts. 4. Its actions must be transparent subject only to the demands of national security. being inconsistent with the Constitution as originally created by the founders of India. representing coercive control by the state over our property and economic equality is entirely inconsistent with the basic structure of the Constitution visualised by the founders of India. where possible We will actively consult citizens on all policies and where possible. 4. d) Repeal of schedules that protect land ceiling acts from being annulled.1. on which no compromise is possible. and is not overly prescriptive about the way a government shall ensure it.1 Key amendments to the Constitution. commercial in confidence issues. to allow public service to be regulated through acts of parliament. a government must not forget that it is a servant. Right to Information laws will be amended to err in favour of greater than less disclosure wherever privacy. we believe that while India’s Constitution has served us tolerably well despite the destruction of its original intent by successive governments. . b) Re-inclusion of a fundamental right to property. c) Repeal of all sections relating to All India Services.2. In addition. We will also support such citizen participation in government decision making through increase in transparency.g. and fundamental review Certain amendments with laudable objectives but faulty design have been introduced in the Constitution.

the servant. or reasonable requirement for commercial confidentiality. businesses.g.3 Citizens must directly supervise the government. Models of local governance followed in many Western countries will be adopted and tailored to Indian needs to ensure elected representatives are able to hire and fire public officials.national security is not involved. police station) has a Local Board constituted by lots from eligible voters (similar to jury selection). Except for state secrets relating to national security nothing will be classified as Official Secret.2. Masters (citizens) will be able to supervise us.3. much of the current secrecy associated with government would be removed through a duty to publish any non-privacy violating.2. We will enact laws to compel all government functionaries to respond promptly to any requests for information received from such civil society organisations. where necessary with the media. It will have powers to inspect all records and processes (including confidential records) and escalate any non-compliance with law with higher authorities. Disclosures laws will be amended to ensure that all cabinet and any other (including national security) documents are made public after 30 years or after any pressing need for national security. or. In particular. The Local Board will supervise activities of that public office. 4. equipped with latest technological tools that empower citizens to monitor government would be encouraged to monitor politicians.4 Lowest responsible level of government must decide wherever possible [subsidiarity] Governance should be left to the level of government closest or most appropriate to dealing with a given issue. nonsecurity related information that is paid for by the taxpayer. has passed: whichever comes first.1 Citizens’ Governments’ requests to be actioned Citizens groups. normal democratic political activity of any citizen will not be classified as an official secret.g. Sone Ki Chidiya 15 . Such citizens groups (e. This would include permission to disclose such information anonymously. Each citizen will be empowered to access (at actual cost) any non-secret record about the citizen maintained by government. we will use all levers available to strengthen and modernise the local government systems across India. Public servants with local knowledge are best placed to examine issues carefully and make the best decisions on our behalf. In effect. so the government can launch internal investigations to verify any such nexus. Citizens’ Government) will be given taxexemptions for donations from Indian citizens so we can begin to see true democracy and accountability for the first time in India. wherever possible We will ensure that each public office (e. We would welcome ongoing citizen feedback and direction right through the five years of being “in power”. so lines of accountability are clear. and criminal and identify any quid pro quo. 4. Although local government regulation falls within the jurisdiction of states.2. 4.

Moral choices we make are purely a matter between us and our Creator.3 The government must not assume to be our master 4. as higher standards of discipline. With the government becoming honest and each Indian pursuing his or her own spiritual values. birth or social characteristics should not be considered in recruitment and promotion decisions in government. In a free nation we are free to pursue our happiness on our initiative. for a change. (This does not rule out social insurance through a social minimum for those who are unable to look after themselves for causes beyond their control. enterprise. Let it become honest. Having efficient and competent local city governments is particularly important to enhance the viability of large cities and satellite cities. each of us is accountable only for any harm we cause others. . free from the eternal shame of government-led corruption and criminality. India can once again aspire to the highest reaches of the material and spiritual world.3. apart from being an umpire and night watchman – paid by us – also our nanny or mai-baap. Today. professionalism and accountability are imposed on them. that would be good enough in terms of any role it plays in the morality of a society. energy. which is not its domain of expertise or capacity – as our servant. not for government comment or legislation. considerable delegation of services and functions can occur. such as local roads being handed over to local governments.Once the governance systems are fully modernised. subject to individual choice. but will also be supported as appropriate by higher levels of government. Our servant must not usurp powers to tell us how we shall find our happiness.2 Don’t tell us what to do Governments hypocritically try to extend their reach into areas that are not their business by pretending to impose their ‘moral’ vision on us.3. There should be no subsidies. not to tell us what to do with our life. we will keep the domain of the state sharply distinct from the domain of religion. 4. government is the most immoral organisation in India. If anyone has a difference of opinion on matters of taste and preference. and moral reckoning.1 Treat us all the same We will ensure the rule of law: that the laws apply equally to everyone.) While merit will be recognised in government jobs. increasing the prospects of orderly urbanisation. Local governments will also be empowered to raise rates and taxes. We will ensure an ethical government. reservations or favours for any citizen. The state cannot preach morality. or sector of the economy. entity. 4. As far as society is concerned. If government can only keep itself honest and do its job without corruption. Through this approach. or how we should behave. We disagree with the delusion that some governments have that they are. This cleansing will take place from the top. 16 Sone Ki Chidiya. such matters are for social debate and discussion. whose role is to dwell on the spirit and morality. A government’s job is to protect our life and liberty.

we will ensure that where any elected SKC representative attends a religious event.4 affairs Don’t interfere in our religious beliefs and Religious freedom is a fundamental freedom. However.g. Sone Ki Chidiya 17 . it must be done through legitimate persuasion methods. radio) on payment of market determined fee for the relevant spectrum which is owned collectively by the people of India. direct threats or incitement of violence. Religion can never be a matter for government policy. to the extent possible) all religious beliefs. This will also imply that no costs can be charged to taxpayers for attending such event. Many official events in India open with a ceremony to light earthen lamps or to break a coconut. as Indians. We note that everyone can enjoy their religious freedom only by giving others similar freedom.3. We will remove all bans on books and movies and prevent such bans from being imposed in the future.g. In this regard we believe that religious freedom. he or she will not use any official title and speak at that event purely as a private individual. bribes. 4. Speech must be free.4. not a nation slave to images or symbols. like all other freedoms. to ensure propriety. We will also examine ways to democratised broadcasting services (TV. The state and religion are different domains. a matter of fundamental choice for each of us. must be accompanied by matching accountability. and reasonable restrictions on speech for appropriateness of audience (e. India must be a free nation. time-based limitations on TV programming). with entirely different purposes. if any). We believe many such practices are cultural and do not imply religious motivation. No religious activity can be opposed by the state unless it trespasses other’s liberties. Other common practices include applying tika or welcoming guests with garlands.3 Don’t tell us what we can or can’t say We will foster citizen’s rights to free speech. We recognise that in India even ordinary greetings can at times take on a religious connotation. The only restriction would relate to civil liability for libel. We believe that the state must be non-denominational and not (normally) ask anyone about their beliefs (including religion or caste. Even laws about how national symbols and flag are treated will be reviewed to bring them into consonance with freedom of speech. if necessary by introducing a Constitutional amendment.3. It may be possible to encourage all religious bodies to agree a self-regulatory Code of Practice to establish minimum standards for such activity. We will repeal any law that curtail freedom of speech (e. laws that make certain online comments an offence or permit bans and censorship). We oppose attempts to convert people to different religions that use questionable means such as coercion. except where some misguided elements seek to use justify violence or aggression on its basis. We will assure ourselves. the closest approximation to absolute freedom of speech outside of the USA. This means tolerating (and accommodating in good faith. The rights of citizens – who express their dissent in peaceful ways – are more important and significant than the rights of a “nation” to protection of its symbols. Although tolerance includes the right to preach and convert others. or misleading conduct.

A government must not use taxpayer funding to support religious activities. Subsidies for Durga Puja on the ground that these will increase tourism are not admissible expenditures from the public purse. Similarly, subsidies for religious pilgrimages or the management of temples by government functionaries are not permissible. Government is usually asked to step in where a temple organisation system has become defunct and the temple property has reverted to the state. In such cases, we will undertake to create a system to auction the property to interested buyer/s. We believe that if equal freedom is ensured, then a separate category of ‘minority’ rights is not needed in India’s Constitution. However, until the rule of law is well-established, we will preserve Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution, even as we phase out subsidisation of any religious or other minority. Religious freedom does not give anyone a right to encroach on public land, harbour criminals and terrorists, harass or threaten those carrying on civilized discourse, or otherwise create public nuisance such as by feeding stray animals, fouling rivers and ponds, and disturbing peace by blaring loudspeakers at unseemly hours. We will consult with the public to work out options to ensure discipline and order even as people are free to observe their religious practices. We would hope that no religious structure is built on public spaces like roads. If such structures are detected on public land, these will be respectfully removed and handed over to suitable religious organisations whereupon these structures can be rehabilitated.

4.3.5 Don’t tell us which occupation or trade we can undertake
Citizens of Free India must have the right to engage in mutually agreed contracts so long as they do not harm anyone else. This includes freedom of occupation and trade, including freedom of farmers, small and selfemployed artisans, craftsmen and traders. We will ensure that citizens have the right to sell their produce in any market in India without restriction of city, municipal or state boundaries, and to the world itself to the extent such trade is consistent with broader foreign policy. Accordingly, coercive purchase of agricultural produce (e.g. through state owned Mandis) will be scrapped. With virtually total freedom of occupation and trade, we will regulate risky professions to ensure social decorum and occupational health and safety. There is no freedom to harm anyone, so any voluntary transaction must be bounded by the discipline of accountability.


Don’t touch our property!

No one can force us to sell our land to them except the State, which can do so only for a specified public purpose. If private industry wants to acquire land it will have to directly purchase from land owners. Where necessary, zoning of lands can be revised to suit the needs of modernisation. But government will not be allowed to acquire private land for another person’s private benefit. Some people have raised the idea of Amiri Rekha or an upper limit on individual wealth or property. We believe such an idea violates the basic


Sone Ki Chidiya.

liberty of each Indian. If wealth is properly earned, there can be no restriction or limitation on enjoyment of such earned wealth. The government is obliged to protect it, as it is obliged to protect any other form of property. It should, however, be possible to tax such wealth more than normal wealth, through modestly progressive taxation.


What a government should, or may do
4.4.1 “Must do” or core (first order) functions
We will ensure that government performs its core (first order) functions very well. The specific actions in this regard will be outlined in Chapter [DN: fix number in the end].


A strong armed force and capability for espionage is the first core function of government. We will ensure a very strong and effective defence of India. Internal security, and law and order The second core function of government is to protect us from crime and violence within the country. We will ensure a very strong and effective police system. Justice and rule of law We will ensure quick and effective justice and enforce the rule of law.


Some additional (second order) functions

After security and justice have been ensured, government can help eliminate dire poverty and ensure reasonable equality of opportunity to all citizens. Government can also undertake some good public infrastructure projects. We will ensure that these additional functions do not directly involve government management, but coordination and facilitation. For instance, we believe that government is fundamentally ill-equipped to manage institutions of learning or medical care.

4.4.3 Government should entirely avoid “third order” functions
There are certain tasks for which justification for a role of government is hard, if not impossible. In such “tasks” government should ask many questions and at most play a very minimal role. Most such “functions” should be performed by citizens themselves. Examples include consideration of plant and animal life, promoting and preserving certain cultural practices including protecting ancient monuments, and funding sportspersons for certain national events.

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Eliminating corruption and criminality from India’s political system

India’s Westminster system of democracy (along with a First Past The Post voting mechanism) has worked well in many countries for hundreds of years. It is a time tested, responsive and effective system provided its incentive structure is effective. That it has not worked well in India can be attributed to its many incentive distortions. No Indian is born corrupt but badly designed systems (wrong opportunities and wrong incentives) motivate corruption. Indians were known across the world for their impeccable integrity before the British came to India. Even today Indians in the West are valued for qualities of character, and display personal qualities of honesty that the West marvels at. Why do the same Indians who behave so ethically abroad, become corrupt in India? The answer lies in the system. The opportunity for corruption in our current system arises because government directly engages in business, apart from building and managing infrastructure and services directly (which it should outsource, and regulate). It also has the discretion to interfere with production and trade by India’s so-called free citizens. This discretionary environment allows politicians and bureaucrats to indulge in rent seeking by selling favours. Many other strong incentives for corruption exist. For instance, politicians lose a lot of money in contesting elections. They must necessarily recover their costs after they are elected: with interest. We believe that while punishment is an important part of the incentive toolkit, witch-hunts to identify “corrupt” individuals won’t eradicate corruption. Numerous countries have low levels of corruption without having any Lokpal. Punishment becomes relevant after positive incentive have been fully applied. We will undertake systemic reforms to: a) reduce opportunities for corruption; and b) reduce incentives for corruption. As part of the latter, we will ensure stern punishment of the corrupt and protect and reward honest public servants. The combination will achieve total accountability and eliminate corruption within three years, through measures outlined below as well as in other parts of this Agenda.


Reduced opportunity for corruption
A minimal government that does not unnecessarily interfere in the lives of citizens will significantly reduce opportunities for corruption.


Sone Ki Chidiya.

Key measures are outlined below.2. 500 for making illegal expenses on elections under Section 171-H of the Indian Penal Code) will be entirely revamped. Any foreign funding of a political party will invite its immediate dissolution.1. We will also empower the Election Commission to dissolve any political party that does not disclose fund receipts and expenses comprehensively. Such information will be publicised by Returning Officers. A citizen has the right to be presumed innocent until Sone Ki Chidiya 21 . 5. We will require the Election Commission to conduct a stringent audit of electoral expenses. strict disclosure and monitoring of reported election expenditure will be required to prevent use of black money in elections.2. Regardless of such a law.2.2. 5.2 Video surveillance at polling stations to prevent intimidation With reduced costs of digital recording equipment. with rigorous punishment meted out for false declarations.2. Significant penalties will be imposed on anyone found subverting the law. 5. 5.1 Negative incentives: Deterrence We will deter bad people from entering into politics.4 Fast-track courts to deal with corruption or criminal charges against MPs It is important that being charged with a criminal offence not be equated with conviction. almost all elected representatives lodge a false declaration of election expenses. 5. we need to expel criminals from India’s politics and attract the best Indians (both honest and policy-capable) into politics. Anyone who does not disclose truthful details will forfeit his seat (if elected) and/or return any state funding received.2 Incentives to keep the corrupt and criminal out of politics By incentives we mean both positive incentives (the “carrot”) and negative incentives (the “stick”. or deterrence).3 Stringent audit of electoral expenses We will review the law on arbitrary electoral expense limits that in a very basic way violate freedom of speech.1. all polling stations will be placed under closed circuit TV surveillance to prevent booth capturing and intimidation (without reducing the privacy and secrecy of voters).1 Criminal background publicity before elections We will make it mandatory for candidates to furnish details about any criminal cases against them.5. Feeble “penal” provisions (such as the token fine of Rs.1. Currently. To make politics in India once again the realm of wisdom and statesmanship which brings greatest benefit to humanity. with penalties of up to Rs 10 crores and a jail term of three years for failure to accurately declare all political funding receipts and expenses.1. even those that have been filed. Maximum penalty for making unauthorized political expenditure that benefits a party or candidate will be increased to Rs 1 crore along with a one year jail term.

Being convicted for a major crime is therefore necessary before someone is legally prevented from being an elected representative The Election Commission. under current circumstances. the elected representative will be asked to publish an explanation. bureaucrats.2. The EC will therefore be asked to work with the Supreme Court to ensure that cases against elected MPs (or MLAs) be given top priority and heard without break until completed.1. and the Prime Minister. the CBI shall be given the status of an autonomous institution. To ensure independent inquiry. We will make laws to punish any Prime Minister or Chief Minister found guilty of corruption with capital punishment for treason.proven guilty. Should any unexplained growth in wealth be detected. and punish any nonjudicial official who delays justice. and thereafter.6 Focus on punishing the seniormost first Corruption in India starts from the top.1. to publish past five years income tax statements and full list of assets of family. then the nation is obliged to remove such person entirely.1. 5.2. While the EC has no powers to prosecute anyone for criminal offences not related to electoral matters. It will be empowered to enforce tight timelines (through the Supreme Court). . to publish annual returns of income and assets. The Election Commission will be asked to scrutinise assets and wealth of elected representatives to verify that any growth in declared wealth is consistent with their known earnings and investments. 22 Sone Ki Chidiya. The EC will be given access to extra resources which it can apply where needed through the court system. can be given the mandate to fasttrack criminal cases against MPs and MLAs in consultation with the Supreme Court. Confiscation of all assets of anyone found guilty of serious corruption would be a further penalty strongly enforced. or citizens).2.1. 5. however. within 30 days of their election.5 Public disclosure of assets of elected representatives and senior bureaucrats All elected representatives will be required.8 Unearthing and confiscating undisclosed wealth (black money) We will endeavour to bring back and confiscate black money stashed abroad and also unearth and confiscate black money stored in India by: • Treating tax evasion on par with crimes against the person and ensuring exemplary punishment for those who deliberately evade taxes (whether politicians. it can form a valuable part of an overall reform package of deterrence. When the defender of the public trust himself steals public funds. might even increase corruption. it is responsible for ensuring that heinous criminals don’t become our MPs and MLAs. including CBI itself. In doing so the EC will liaise with the Supreme Court and report monthly to Parliament. 5.7 A strong Lokpal for Prime Minister and Chief Ministers Although a Lokpal on its own. reporting directly to the Lokpal. We will focus the Lokpal only on senior corrupt politicians and civil servants.2. 5. Other Ministers and senior officials found guilty of bribery or similar actions would be punished through imprisonment of not less than five years.

• Making or amending laws to unearth Indian black money both within the country and abroad. To make the playing field more even. 40 lakhs per candidate. good candidates will at least not have to go bankrupt if. based on the votes they poll. We will increase positive incentives to attract good people to politics by increasing the probability of their getting elected. Making laws to allow general-purpose FIRs against suspected corrupt MPs. thus leading to good quality. Sone Ki Chidiya 23 .2. MLAs. they lose the election. after spending their lifetime savings. This would include identifying and removing any mechanism used to launder black money through FDI. we will reimburse Rs. Making provisions (including treaties with foreign nations) to ensure that sources of any black money deposited abroad and sources of foreign investments in India are transparently disclosed. honest parliamentary leadership. With about 16 lakh voters per parliamentary constituency. This system will ensure that over the course of time. we need to attract good people.2. thus creating a virtuous cycle.1 Taxpayer funding of candidates Given the extremely large population and often geographical spread of Indian constituencies. 40 lakhs). There is no reason why people’s representatives should be expected to lose their entire lifetime’s savings for the thankless privilege of representing their community. 5. Even though corrupt candidates will still try to outspend honest candidates through underhand use of black money (which would be separately stopped. with such black money treated as national property. • • • • 5.2 Positive incentives: Attracting good people into politics In addition to blocking out bad elements. communicating one’s message to voters can cost a good amounts of money. as outlined above). of which about 60 per cent tend to vote.2. This system will let good candidates borrow funds to contest elections in anticipation of potential recovery of a part of their costs from the government. Such a system works successfully in Australia where competent candidates are able to contest. a candidate who secures half the valid votes that are cast would receive the maximum entitlement (Rs. government officers or politically connected person suspected to possess black money. good candidates are out-spent by criminal candidates who resort to crores of rupees of black money. While electoral expenditure is never the only determinant of electoral success.15 per valid vote cast up to a ceiling of Rs. and in this way are defeated even before they start. Amending Banking Secrecy laws to gain accurate information about any black money deposited in foreign tax havens. Addressing flawed incentives in the land transfer system to unearth black money stored within India. the proportion of good candidates will increase.

Higher positions require greater knowledge and judgement. We will establish an independent Political Representative Incentives Commission charged with research on compensation for representatives.3 Online voting by defence and police personnel Given the last minute deployment of security forces during elections. they often do not get to vote. as corruption and bad policy are brought to an end. Its recommendations would include consideration of performance bonuses for MPs and MLAs (and particularly Ministers) linked to national growth and integrity targets. In Arthashastra he specified that the highest public servant salary should be 800 times that of the lowest functionary.2 Competitive salary for elected representatives Protection of our life and liberty. cannot come cheaply. furnishings. if done well. even though the responsibility of our MPs is arguably higher. it is expected that all perquisites such as free travel. Today MPs are paid extremely low salaries compared with senior private sector executives. Competent people therefore prefer to earn a respectable living elsewhere instead of entering parliament. 5.3 Strengthening democracy We will strengthen India’s democracy in many ways. Such security deposit has not been increased for nearly 50 years [DN: check]. to allow citizens to determine whether their interest has been adequately safeguarded. Chanakya knew this well. . Options other than postal ballot to ensure they get access to the vote (such as internet-based voting systems) will be examined. This will be particular pertinent where MPs/MLAs have the flexibility of using their conscience and wisdom to vote instead of the Party Whip. The level of inaccuracy in the voters list is a matter of significant concern and all means.While the direct cost of this system will need to be borne by taxpayers. It is an ill-conceived ideology to pay representatives. all pension schemes for legislators will be abolished. 5. you will get monkeys”. 24 Sone Ki Chidiya.2. “if you pay peanuts. vehicles or loans will be abolished. Along with this reform. will be deployed to ensure that no genuine citizen’s electoral rights are undermined.2.3. telephones.2 No genuine citizen’s voting rights should be compromised Eligible Indian citizens sometimes find their names missing from the voters list despite having valid voter ID cards and having voted in the past. judges and public servants poorly and then expect them to rise above temptation. In any event.1 Individual voting records of MPs/MLAs to be published Voting records of MPs/MLAs on each Bill will be published. the indirect cost borne by them will significantly decline. As the saying goes. In this regard.3. 5. including online registration. security deposit for elections will be increased significantly to ensure that only serious candidates contest elections. 5. 5.3.

4 NRIs’ right to vote Indian citizens living abroad must have the same right to vote in national elections as citizens living in India.6 Judicial power to review laws for Constitutionality to be strengthened We believe in the rule of law and an independent judiciary with powers to review laws for compliance with the Constitution. can increase open debate. In addition. 5.5. Its intent was to deter “the evil of political defections” by legislators motivated by lure of office or other similar considerations. We will strengthen this function and ensure that the judiciary is able defend liberty. Thus. he or she must be free to promote it through an appropriate political party. This will be operationalised through online mechanisms.4. Limits will always be flouted by the corrupt. 5. and consider how accountability and disclosure is encouraged.5 Platform for all candidates to communicate with villagers The costs and feasibility of having Returning Officer organise videodebates between all candidates. By operating in cases where no such evil is involved. will be explored. In addition. it leads to parties paying for “news” (expenditure on “news” is not be included in accounts to the Election Commission). 5. which receive income tax exemption for these contributions [check].1 Review of anti-defection law A review of anti-defection law is overdue.4 Review of electoral system policies 5. But when it comes to spending this money in elections. in lieu of advertisement. Reducing the application of this law to confidence and no-confidence motions.3. if someone believes in a particular idea. 5. but corrupted the entire political and bureaucratic system. Further it gives legal and even moral sanction to defection provided it is done in large enough group. with such debates being relayed simultaneously to all villages through relevant TV channels. It should be possible for candidates to explain their platform to voters without having to spend unduly in visiting all villages. there is great hypocrisy. and now the media.4. instead. Sone Ki Chidiya 25 . It is not clear that this law is consistent with democracy and freedom. Imposing limits merely distort incentives and increases the flow and use of black money in elections. We will review the need for any limit. This position is consistent with freedom of expression. The hypocrisy involved in this rule has not only adversely affected freedom of speech. giving them an unfair advantage over honest people. the purpose of the laws is defeated.3. or when the government is in danger.2 Review of election expenditure limit There is no currently limit on contributions to political parties.3. with limits on electoral expenditure.

Although we believe that the FPTP system can do a good job with the appropriate change in incentives outlined in this manifesto.4 systems Study of feasibility of alternative voting Alternative electoral systems are proposed from time to time by eminent thinkers as a solution to many of India’s problems.4. 5. we will commission a study of other forms of representation including proportional representation and the presidential system. to determine whether these options are compatible with liberal democracy and with India’s nature and character. 26 Sone Ki Chidiya.5. We will commission a feasibility study of this proposal and implement it if found to be viable and cost effective. However. we are not aware of any detailed practical proposal for its possible implementation in India.4. .3 Study of feasibility of ‘right to recall’ We note that the right to recall is being promoted by number of people.

required to plan a restructure that suits the needs of a modern government.1.1. comprising policy professionals with demonstrated capability to analyse policy in relation to economic impacts and impacts on our freedom. It will also deal with matters that fall across more than one department.2. and advise Cabinet on the extent to which all new laws and regulations proposed are compatible with freedom through the India Policy Office. ensuring that commitments made in this manifesto are delivered. New machinery of government We will bring good governance to India for the first time ever through actions aimed at ensuring accountability from anyone who is paid by taxpayers. including Indians currently teaching economics and finance in the world’s top universities who may be initially hired on short or medium term contracts and paid salaries comparable to what they are currently draw abroad. 6. 6.1.1. among other things: • • • promoting our freedoms. This office will retain significant independence in its advice. This legal affairs division will also coordinate the delivery of all legislation committed or consequential to commitments made in this manifesto.1 India Policy Office An Indian Policy Office (IPO) would be established in the Freedom Ministry. departments and organizations. A division of the IPO will review all existing laws to assess their compatibility with freedom. The IPO will mainly hire new analysts through open competition. 6. 6.2 Strategic review and restricting of governance A strategic review will be commissioned in the first 100 days to deliver a new look government machine within a maximum of three years.1 Freedom Ministry A new Freedom Ministry will be created in the first ten days to serve the Prime Minister and the Minister of State for Cabinet (to whom the Cabinet Secretary will report). and any subject not allocated to other departments. 6. charged with. including redundant ministries.1.1 Review of functions All functions of government will be reviewed and non-essential functions.6. Sone Ki Chidiya 27 .1 New structure to deliver government responsibilities Cabinet will monitor and regularly inform public about progress in achieving committed objectives.

The reviews will also ensure that no staff will be adversely affected by such actions. with around 20 ministerial portfolios in all. public health. support to the judiciary and protection of consumers). nevertheless. professional Research Wing for the Parliament. and productive possibilities that exists in a dispersed form throughout the whole of society. When no person in the entire world is capable of making even a pencil on his or her own (from scratch) no one in the world has the knowledge of prices. The preposterous idea that anyone can plan India’s economy will be put down by shutting down the Planning Commission. viii) social capital and community (fostering voluntarism and conducive social relations in the community). such as the India Policy Office. iii) external affairs.3 Abolition of concentred bureaucratic extraconstitutional power It is inappropriate for highly centralised bureaucratic and extraconstitutional power to be part of the governance system. Each portfolio will be served by one of the ten departments. 28 Sone Ki Chidiya. the Planning Commission has no basis in the constitutional structure of India. The Planning Commission will be converted into a small. The number of secretaries in the Government of India will thus be reduced to ten. justice. poverty elimination through negative income tax. vi) social infrastructure (e. which used to be a very small wing. Similarly. particularly in security. v) physical infrastructure. 6. and any staff made redundant would be redeployed elsewhere. iv) public finance. police. today. costs. of education and medical facilities). the Prime Minister’s Office. today more or less duplicates the work of each ministry.2. 6. Apart from the Freedom Department other departments (after the review and restructure) are expected to be: i) defence. Both these tasks will be completed within the first 100 days. Centralized planning. in particular. . and infrastructure. the PMO will be abolished.g. Given that the Prime Minister will be served by the Freedom Ministry.2 Reducing government to 20 portfolios and 10 departments It is expected that as a result of this review. not direct management. with most of its employees moving to other Ministries. the number of departments in Government of India will be brought down to ten. and ix) sustainability (managing the ecology). vii) commerce (including regulation of industry and agriculture).1. It is. ii) justice (including internal security. and the regulation. with 20 Ministers of State (to ensure orderly succession). at the heart of the central government.1.

3 Zero corruption in bureaucracy 6. significant modernisation of the civil service will be undertaken. thus reducing the opportunity for corruption. Sone Ki Chidiya 29 .2. after which they will be able to return to their job on a full time basis (without this leave period being counted towards service benefits. by putting all senior roles in the rank of Secretary on a fixed term contract that has no relationship with any tenured civil service.1 Reduced opportunities for corruption in bureaucracy The principles outlined for reducing opportunities for intervention in the lives of citizens by politicians will also apply to the bureaucracy. including: • • public servants will be be paid wages comparable with private sector wages for similar jobs.2 Non-contractual roles to be modernised As a first step.2 Incentives to reduce corruption A number of steps will be taken to make it more “profitable” for bureaucrats to be good. The contractual civil service established after three years of restricting will have a number of features (even for those not on contractual appointments). All such senior officers (on contracts) will be paid very well but will be liable to immediate termination without notice (they will get four months salary in lieu) for any significant failure to deliver results.3. In due course tenured senior civil services will be dismantled and replaced entirely with open-market recruitment. and . 6.6. the new Conduct Rules will allow public servants to speak out and participate in debates on governance (excluding the area for which they are directly responsible).2 Creation of an entirely new civil service machine 6.2.3. if any). they will be given three months leave without pay to do so.should they wish to contest elections. significant modernisation of the civil service will be undertaken within the first 100 days. Failure to bring an end to corruption in their department after six months of taking charge will be cause for termination. We expect a rapid fall in the levels of corruption in India within the first 100 days as the new senior civil servants will be given a free hand to put an end to inefficiency and corruption anywhere in their departments. 6. including elimination of corruption. 6. Similar actions will be undertaken over the course of the first three years with all officials in the rank of Joint Secretary and above.1 Senior positions to be converted purely to contractual jobs As a first step.

2 Salaries comparable with private sector Competitive salaries for bureaucrats will ensure that their incentives for corruption are dramatically reduced.3.3. They will be empowered to confidentially provide this evidence to the Lok Pal who would.2.3. Any elected representative found breaking the law will be prosecuted vigorously.1 Contractual appointments of senior bureaucrats Contractual appointments of senior bureaucrats (they will be terminated if they fail to deliver integrity and desired public outcomes) will ensure that bureaucrats are motivated to be honest 6.g. 6. Delhi will get around 300 elected councillors (including Mayors or Pradhans) in about 60 independent councils. The ratio of elected local representatives to citizens would be brought in line with international best practice. 6. and any corruption they observe. In addition. 6.2. User charges such as land taxes and rates will form their primary source of revenue. significant strengthening of local governments will allow better monitoring of governmental activities by the people. For instance. this reform will have to be led by the states.5 Rewards for the honest (whistleblowing) We oppose any form of political pressure on officials to deflect them from the fair and just discharge of their duties. 30 Sone Ki Chidiya. Public servants will be rewarded for documenting (including by digital means) and reporting to the Lok Pal any misdemeanours of politicians who ask public servants to break any law. recommend a significant reward for such employee. Within three months. The results of these surveys will be published quarterly and inform public reviews of Ministers’ performance as well as confidential performance reviews of secretaries.4 Strengthening local government Local government institutions will be entirely modernised and made accountable to elected representatives. upon successful proof of the allegations.2.3 Audit and monitoring of government by citizens Steps to increase monitoring of government by citizens (e.3.3. . we will frame a package of incentives for states to create fully elected local councils (parishads) of a manageable size.4 Surveys on level of corruption The Freedom Minister will commission surveys through an independent organisation to assess citizens’ perceptions and experience about the level of corruption prevailing and service delivery qualities in various departments.2.6. 6. Local Board and support for Citizens’ Governments) have already been outlined earlier. Since the subject of local government falls within the purview of State Governments.2. Significant underperformance will be cause for termination of the senior executive team of departments and replacement of Ministers. These councils will be responsible for providing world-class civic amenities and managing local libraries and community halls.

The outline of such a framework is provided below: Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 What would happen without any role for government Identify problem/s with the base case and explain why these are problems First principles test (should government intervene at all) What can government do about the problem/s? Freedom test Strategic gaming test Government failure test Real experience test Cost benefit test Transition path 6.5. environmental scientists and landscaping specialists.g. food regulation. Testing all polices on the basis of a world best policy framework will be made mandatory through a regulatory impact statement.Land planning and zoning will be controlled by the councils with the help of professional land planners. e. Sone Ki Chidiya 31 .2 Regulatory gatekeeping and review organisation We will establish an independent Policy Efficiency Commission that reports to the Freedom Minister directly and acts as a gatekeeper for regulatory impact analysis of all policies in India. 6.5 Modern governance frameworks and mechanisms 6.5. while also charging more money from residents. Each council would be able to set its own rates independently and determine the level of amenities it will provide. Because of the natural competition between a multiplicity of councils. Through this process. world-class services will become the norm in India’s cities. Councils wishing to attract wealthier residents will therefore focus on better infrastructure such as parks. Some state inspectorates. States will be provided incentives to modernize associated regulation. will also be transferred to the councils.1 World-best policy and regulatory frameworks The India Policy Office will issue directives for implementation of best practice policy and regulatory frameworks. These changes would lead to fewer but far more competent inspectors. the costs will be kept down. Citizens will therefore physically move to the better managed councils and vote with their feet. such as the food inspectorate. to reflect risk-based approaches. All these staff will be fully accountable through the contractually appointed chief executives.

6.000 pages (excluding Definitions Act and any Schedules or Attachments to be hyperlinked separately). All Central regulation (including tax laws) will be reviewed and simplified with a view to bringing down the substantive regulation to a total of 10. rules. regulation will be further reduced till a maximum of 5. E-governance will be outsourced to competent world-best IT sector Indian companies. For this purpose.5.5. This will require any necessary regulation to be remade. so we allow citizens to hold governments to account in every way. Other indirect regulatory costs are not counted as red tape for purposes of this program.5. independently assessed and results published by the Policy Efficiency Commission. blackmail and litigation by a whimsical bureaucracy and legal system.000 Today regulation with legislation and its associated amendments.3 E-governance The National Informatics Centre. 6. The citizen lives in a state of uncertainty and is often subjected to extortion. but also delays and costs of fees. ordinances and notifications are scattered.5 pages Reducing regulation to a total of 10. in the fourth and fifth year. which provides a uniformly poor quality e-governance service to India will be wound up. The measurement of changes in red tape will be conducted through the Regulatory Change Measurement methodology. . In a second phase of this project. each Ministry will receive a quota of pages and will be required to shrink its regulation to be accommodated within these pages within three years. and also receive all services they need in a flawless manner.6 per cent Reducing red tape (costs of regulation) by 50 We will reduce red tape imposed by the Government of India on the community (including businesses and NGOs) by 50 per cent by 2019.4 All regulation to sunset every 10 years Commencing 2015.6. 32 Sone Ki Chidiya. Not even experts are in a position to authoritatively say what a legal position is. bylaws. To ensure that this does not create a situation of uncertainty and lawlessness. this will be phased in for all existing regulation.000 pages of substantive regulation remains. To facilitate this. all regulation will be allocated a sunset date when it will come to an end.5. red tape includes not just administrative and compliance costs. 6.

Wherever possible. with least distortion of incentives to work. 7.1 Revenue principles Citizen of a free nation must pay for services they want from the state.1. excise. is compatible with the need to achieve a strong but minimal state. To the extent possible. Some aspects of taxation reform will include: • • • • • radical simplification of income tax law. In particular. not more than a quarter of the total income of a country. this would generally be a small amount.7. as a proportion of their incomes.1 Minimal taxation We stand for thrift in public expenditure. Assuming that the state does not perform unnecessary functions.1. Doing more with less 7. taxation must be proportionate to the ability of each citizen to generally the most efficient.1. we will keep corporate taxes low from the international perspective to motivate investment in India. parity between income tax rates and company tax rates. and privatisation (under government supervision) of income tax collection services for the non-salaried sector. with a modest level of progressivity.1. and tax raised based on the number of family members (noting that such a system can potentially create perverse effects on the birth rate) Income tax – to the extent it is based on a flat tax rate . 7. a family should be treated as a single unit. and sales taxes are regressive (discriminate against the poor). import duties. to ensure compliance by all those who should pay taxes. preventing states from exempting any business from taxes. eliminating all exemptions.4 Minimising regressive indirect taxes Given that indirect taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT). we will aim to reduce indirect taxes and Sone Ki Chidiya 33 . We believe that a broadly flat percentage tax (which is proportionate to income). This taxation system can be coupled with the negative income tax to ensure that no one need suffer from acute poverty even as all necessary government functions are performed well. 7. making it impossible for the government to deliver any services. 7. Hence.3 Reducing marginal rates In general we will reduce the marginal rates of taxation. income tax rates and deductions will be pegged to inflation (noting that we do not expect any significant inflation during the tenure of our government).2 Modestly progressive direct tax system A poll tax is inappropriate since it will necessarily equal what the poorest can pay. We hold that taxation should be just enough to allow necessary functions of the state to be performed well. minimal taxation of investment.

By broadening the base we will increase aggregate tax collection to around 25 per cent of India’s GDP. with greatest incidence on the poorest. eliminating poverty. 7. 34 Sone Ki Chidiya. Review of transaction tax models We will commission an expert review of the Arthakranti and other similar models (e. . Income tax is also the most efficient tax. Where possible installed capacity. 7. but their consumption rises with income. Accordingly. greater use of income tax will be made by broadening the tax base. and that those who receive incomes in sporadic bursts (such as authors and artists) are not unduly taxed.g. As Engel’s law indicates. At the least.1.2 Expenditure principles 7. It cannot spend the resources it does not have. This broadening of the tax base will also allow linkages with the negative income tax system to pay a direct top-up to the poor. all indirect taxes will be subsumed into a single VAT with a single rate of taxation. In particular.replace them with direct taxes.6 Broadening the tax base through a simple tax system We will make it mandatory for all citizens to lodge an annual tax return. 7. 7. it would be important to review whether such taxes are regressive in nature. impacts on different sectors of population. It would be important that key goals of the tax system be met. Further. consumption taxes become a less and less reliable source of revenues as society increases in wealth. The concept of fiscal responsibility and budget management will be firmly embedded. Another key problem with consumption tax is its monotonic reduction as wealth grows.1. and loopholes that might reduce total tax intake.1 Prohibition on deficit financing The basic rules of private accounting would become applicable to the government as well. We will prohibit deficit financing as also of overdrafts by the State or the Central Governments for financing their expenditure. 7. since education and health are generally exempt from consumption tax. we will privatise tax collection (or involve NGOs and civil society organisations) in areas where taxpayers are not capable of completing tax returns. rolling stock and business or residential area occupied can be used as proxies for income received. to determine feasibility.7 Reducing gap between possible and actual realisation To minimise non-declaration of tax dues by people. but the return will be kept very simple. broader consumption declines with wealth.5 Cautious use of consumption tax Consumption tax is regressive. Automated Payment Transaction) of transaction taxation. which makes it an ever-diminishing source of taxation.

2. Sone Ki Chidiya 35 . Such experiments are have been prohibited by governments in India (and indeed. rented out to government. These measures will ensure that the rupee does not depreciate further. 7. In a free society.2. and slowly recovers to the level which can benefit the Indian consumer enormously. any public sector undertaking not yet sold off. in most parts of the world).1 Phase 1: Monetary rule for maximum 3 per cent inflation We will abolish the inflation tax in two stages. a comprehensive review will be initiated of the need for central banking. In addition. Such competitive markets for money are likely to be backed with gold along with an appropriate monetary rule. and take on further debt only where absolutely necessary: for physical and social infrastructure. Similarly. would be disposed off at market price.3 Debt repayment through sale of government lands and PSUs Huge single storeyed and double storeyed buildings in Delhi can be easily substituted by multistoreyed. its citizens will determine. allowing governments and central banks the untrammelled power to tax people through a regressive inflation tax. enabling the revenues so generated to be used to retire debt. 7. and create undue hardships particularly for the poor.4.3. 7.2 Repayment of debt and borrowing only for physical and social infrastructure To run a sustainable government India will need to retire government debt by creating surpluses. Environmental assets will be valued separately to assess sustainability. endowments and fixed incomes. In the first stage we will ensure full independence for the Reserve Bank of India subject to a legal requirement to follow a monetary rule that reduces its discretion to ensuring that inflation does not exceed three per cent under any circumstance.3 Disclosure principles 7.2 Phase 2: Monetary rule for maximum 1 per cent inflation In the second phase. even as potential impacts on exporters are transitioned. In addition. 7. privately developed buildings. to ensure that prices do not rise recklessly from printing of money.7.4. 7. High prices caused by deliberate increase in money supply with the intent of degrading the currency reduce the value of savings. this inflation limit will be reduced to one per cent. the types of medium of exchange they are willing to use. key competitive markets will be established for supply of money. through their various experiments. subject to stringent regulation.1 World best-practice disclosure principles Disclosure of the finances of governments will be enhanced using principles of commercial accounting.4 Abolishing the inflation tax: Sound money Money is a medium of exchange.

36 Sone Ki Chidiya. .

these two should be integrated The following are the highlights of our foreign policy. Also. some of the principles of new public management that apply to the new civil services will be introduced in the defence force. There is deep honour in serving the defence force. however. which will be based on the most pragmatic and effective principles of national self-interest. defence force should get independent decision making power within broad parameters. the government will step out of defence public sector manufacturing undertakings. the government will significantly increase defence funding to attract and retain high quality personnel and provide them with appropriate weapons and technology. First order function: Defence and Foreign affairs 8. Wherever possible. we will not issue any further requests or warnings and use unlimited force to clinically destroy the leadership of the b) c) Sone Ki Chidiya 37 . Need explanation. and the need for strong defence.] 8. such as beheading Indian soldiers. To the extent possible. We will promote the concept of “one rank one pension” [Why? – not clear why this is particular strategic or useful for advancing good governance or good defence. in the lines of Arthashastra. The defence profession should not be treated like any other sector. we also believe that decisions involving defence strategy should not be made without direct involvement of India’s defence forces. that it is important for India to have a sufficient arsenal of nuclear weapons to motivate mutual disarmament. a) We will work closely with friendly nations to enhance mutual interests such as extradition of criminals. We will only consider destroying nuclear weapons when all other countries demonstrate simultaneous and total elimination of their nuclear capability. supporting international engagements where India’s interest is served. If unfriendly neighbours repeatedly fail to exercise self-restraint and demonstrate repetitive barbaric behaviour. To demonstrate its respect to defence personnel.1 Defence Defence is the single most important function of government. and promoting trade. We believe. However. We advocate global disarmament which includes banning weapons of mass destruction. and that defence policy should be under the direction of civil government. We believe that internal discipline is most crucial in matters of defence.2 Integration of defence with foreign policy We believe that foreign policy should be primarily informed by national interest. By allowing private research and production of defence equipment. shutting down terrorism.8.

However.000. All of them want to see India fulfil its destiny. We will make use of drone attacks to disable the enemy force. There is significant economic value in giving OCIs full citizenship of India. This will yield also significant revenues to the government. 38 Sone Ki Chidiya. We will put significant resources on the detailed analysis of this vexing problem and aim to arrive at a joint agreement with Bangladesh to ensure an end to any future illegal migration into India.1. for it will permit them to be more involved in the future of India in every way. and maintain good relations with foreigners of Indian origin (PIOs/ OCIs). say. many of whom continue to think and work for a new India even though they live abroad. all OCIs will be eligible to resume full citizenship of India on payment of a substantial fee of.enemy force. $10.1 Pakistan We agree with India’s policy directions to date in relation to Pakistan and strongly believe that better trade and cultural relations are required but these should be contingent on the complete elimination of ongoing and invisible hostilities against India by Pakistan.3 Specific defence and foreign policies We believe that India’s defence and foreign policies should be based on long term strategic interests. Except for any overseas Indian with proven links to secessionist movements in India. to regain their citizenship and contribute to political reform.3.3. a solution must be found which does not make India hostage to poor governance in Bangladesh.1. 8. We believe that India’s diaspora is a fantastic asset to the country. We will firmly protect interests of Indian citizens who live or work abroad (NRIs). so this resource should be embraced. d) Till an alternative to the United Nations is created we will insist on permanent membership and veto power for India in the Security Council. and thus promote trade and harmony in the region. .2 Bangladesh We are committed to good relations with Bangladesh. e) f) g) 8. We will cooperate with friendly neighbours to sharing resources linked to waterways. We will make it easy for Indians who relinquished Indian citizenship due to the inefficiency and corruption of Indian governments. this would involve supporting countries that promote liberty and being careful of nations which have territorial ambitions or which resist human rights and liberty. There are innumerable challenges in sending back illegal Bangladeshi (and other) immigrants. 8. even as we prevent illegal migration from Bangladesh (and elsewhere) by strengthening border protection. In general.

1. 8. An independent committee of citizens could audit these lists. Sone Ki Chidiya 39 . We request the USA to not help India’s enemies.4 USA We are committed to building strong relationships with USA and its partners.1.It seems that some political parties are facilitating illegal migration to India to enhance their vote bank. Retired officials with election system experience in the past officers could form part of such a committee.3.3 China India recognises the important role of an increasingly wealthy and powerful China and aims to have excellent trade and cultural relations with the Chinese people. with a view to fostering and strengthening freedom and democracy across the world. We believe there are opportunities for China to play a more constructive role in Tibet and to bring to an end its claims on Indian territory. 8.3. The modus operandi is complex but can include use of names of those who have moved to other places. to allow the two largest nations of the world to work towards greater global peace. or died.

Our focus will be the security of the common citizen. Police officers refusing to file such reports will be dismissed. provided proof beyond reasonable doubt has been established. integrity and effectiveness. we will allow the use of capital punishment for all heinous offences. The illegal mandates of political criminals and criminal politicians are often more potent than that of the law and order machinery. technologies and punishments to ensure that society doesn’t pay unduly for the upkeep of prisoners. But today there is no security. child abuse and rape) capital punishment would be used to create a deterrent effect. communications and even armaments than the police. Police officers owe no accountability to the people and the people who have little faith in them.] In addition. 9. not people who are genuinely interested in the well being and the security of the people from amongst whom they come. For heinous crime (including serious cases of corruption. Communalists and casteists have succeeded in creating an aura of sanctity around their criminal activities. We will introduce a large number of other reforms such as computerising the records of criminals. Police has been subverted by corrupt recruitment. VIP security and criminalpolitician axis. First order function: Internal security Law and order is a core function of government. prisoners could be required to serve the family or community they have harmed. In general.1 Police and policing reforms Police reforms will be given top most priority. improving the public-Police interaction and making it possible to First Information Reports using the internet. Recommendations of the National Police Commission will be rapidly implemented. from which citizens have the highest expectations of service. Criminals are often better equipped in transport. [DN: Elaborate. post enquiry. appropriate incentives and improved training will be introduced to raise the morale. We will come down heavily on any individual or organisation that advocates or uses violence for any religious or political purpose. terrorism and bellicose fundamentalism have become widespread. We will significantly increase the size of the Police force to in order to ensure adequate security. 9. We will also prosecute and severely punish any Police officer who uses or condones the use of third degree methods. 40 Sone Ki Chidiya. relations between the citizens and the police are anything but friendly. Where appropriate. not of VIPs or VVIPs.9.2 Reviewing and improving penal laws We will introduce innovative techniques. Police officers often behave like foreigners who have come to terrorize and rule over citizens of India. plethora of laws. . Further. competence and responsiveness of the Indian Police. Gangsterism.

and any privacy issues as well as issues regarding potential misuse by government functionaries. including all people who lived in it at the time of independence. Where property rights are not strongly bounded by the law. 9.3 Ayodhya temple We believe that this matter is best left to the courts to decide.3. there are possibilities of such disputes occurring again. we will make bail for all charges except crimes against person much easier than it is today.6 Naxalism North East Sone Ki Chidiya 41 . by reverting any ancient monument/s to the people. A study will also be commissioned to examine the costs and feasibility of introducing biological markers (such as DNA) in such a card that would ultimately help eliminate any continuing illegal migration into India from Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. we believe that it is ultimately desirable that government not involve itself in any such matter.3. and thereby allow stronger monitoring of any potential misuse.1 Citizens’ ID Numbers Upon review of the legal basis of the Aadhar (or similar) card.3.3. It is crucial that the Adhar card not be issued to illegal migrants to India. 9. 9.3.4 9. We believe that the region of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and are committed to abrogation of the Article 370 of the Constitution of India which has created a dual layer of sovereignty within a single nation.3 Specific internal security policies 9.2 Jammu and Kashmir We are committed to the peace and prosperity of Kashmir.5 9.3. 9.To the extent feasible. to minimise harassment of potentially innocent people. In this regard. we will expand it appropriately to ensure that each citizen receives a unique ID card that will not only identify them for various transactions in society but help track any government benefits they might receive from government.

1 Effective. 42 Sone Ki Chidiya. People say that there has been so much modernization and computerization. Panchayat decisions will be reviewed periodically and corrective guidance issued. we have 130-135 judges for every one million people. We will increase number of judges from 10.1 Panchayats to be empowered to judge simple civil and criminal matters Today even petty cases go before judges. 10. 10. so long as it can be ensured that Panchayats are abiding by the highest norms of justice.1. So.1. modern system of laws and justice We will modernise the system of laws and justice in India. the ratio is 13. A judge has to go into the facts. The justice system ensures accountability in a free society.2. if in our country the ratio is increased to even 40 judges per million people. CPC provides for ADRs (Alternate dispute redressal mechanism) to refer disputes after framing of issues to appropriate ADRs and ADR rules have been formulated in 2005 6 SCC 344. 10. If we harm anyone. but can the computer decide a case on the merits of it? No! Each fact in each case differs from the others.5 judges for one million people.1 Significant increase in the number of judges In our country. justice (including retribution) must be quick and proportionate to bring closure so people can get on with their life.1. V UOI.2 Alternative models of dispute resolution Along with the delegation of many cases to Panchayats. before deciding a case. Pre-litigation counselling can also assist in reducing unnecessary litigation. . Pre-litigation measures and plea bargaining S 89. and arbitration to reduce delays currently experienced in the justice system. we will increase alternate modes of dispute resolution. the law. 10. Salem Advocates Bar Assn. First order function: Justice We are free to do what we like so long as we do not harm others. the evidence. then things can improve a lot. We will bring as many civil matters as possible (such as some land disputes and minor criminal cases) under the jurisdiction of Panchayats. To ensure that this is happening. Such rapid increase in judges could reduce the quality of judgements without a commensurate strengthening of training and orientation among judicial officers / judges and lawyers – which will therefore need to be significantly upgraded as well.2 Greater use of private initiative 10.2. All freedom must be bounded by accountability.5 per 10 lakh population to 50 judges per 10 lakh population. These would be complied with to reduce delay.1.10. In the developed countries. pre-litigation measures and plea bargaining.

1. 10. with units changing in value based on the value of the rupee. 10.1 Making laws accessible and clear to the Language of the people to be used We will require the language of the people to be used in courts as far as ordinary civil and criminal matters are concerned.3 Telecast of court proceedings Except where matters of state security are involved.1. All financial imposts will be converted into units. 10. Plea bargaining has been rarely used in local courts. and would cut down on avoidable litigation. will be increased to reflect current monetary values. In addition to computerization and publication of all relevant laws. Pre-litigation counselling Steps will be taken to refer parties for counselling prior to commencing litigation. Its misuse may be prevented.3.1.2 Free legal aid of high quality The poor will be eligible for free legal aid of high quality.1.3. as. offences affecting the socio-economic condition of the country and those committed against a woman or a child below the age of fourteen. which could be settled outside courts. through a mutually satisfactory disposition where the court will direct the accused to pay the agreed compensation to the victim and may either release the accused on probation or sentence the accused to up to half the minimum punishment prescribed for the offence in question. the Supreme Court will be required to telecast court proceedings on any Constitutional matter. the costs of which will be partially met through the court imposed penalties on losing parties.4 Computerization of laws and jurisprudence In our common law system lawyers often quote precedents and judgements that often contradict each other. fees and penalties that are seriously outdated and hence ineffective. all relevant jurisprudence will be published on the internet (making it searchable). especially when there is scope for settlement. we will index all financial imposts (fines. as a precaution. thus making it easier for judges to be appropriately informed and improving the speed and quality of judgements.1. are excluded. 10. fees and penalties) to inflation (through the consumer price index). Fines.Plea bargaining The provision for plea bargaining would be complied with – where plea bargaining (Chapter 21 A Cr PC) provides for pre-emption of trial on petty offences punishable with imprisonment up to 7 years. 10. These are also particularly relevant for cases arising between government departments.3 people 10. Sone Ki Chidiya 43 .5 Linking legal financial imposts linked with CPI Although inflation should soon stop falling through efforts indicated elsewhere.

1 Accountability and resourcing 10. pre-1947 laws will be reviewed for relevance and where found unnecessary.2%.2.3. A quantum increase in expenditure on the justice system will be considered. stripped from existing legislation. 10.3 Significant increase in expenditure on the justice system Korea spends more than 0. This will ensure consistency in use of specific words in Indian legislation. Family courts For relatively smaller matters we will set up mobile courts and encourage people to use the services of private arbitrators.7 Repeal of redundant legislation A vast amount of legislation remains on the Indian statute book even though there is no enforcement of such regulation.1.1. the following quick wins will be implemented. the U.4% of its GDP on justice. India. By ensuring that government does not undertake any unnecessary functions. 10.1.1. spent only 0. possibly doubling or even tripling current spending. will be repeated within three years.2. because of low levels of transparency. and increase the number of family courts. . This will be increased. 10. etc. KPIs for the Minister would include the backlog. 10. and brought under a single Act.1.2. However.1.4 Mobile courts.2 Independent justice remuneration commission An independent justice remuneration commission will be established to determine a framework for minimum pay for judges. and include incentives for greater quality.2 Efficient delivery of justice We will establish a review to recommend longer-term judicial reforms including considering implementation of a jury system in India. accuracy and speed of judgements. indicators of speed and quality.10. We will increase Lok Adalats to one per 10 villages.1 Freedom (Justice) Minister to be paid based on quality and speed of justice The Minister for Freedom (including justice) should be paid according to results. All words in Indian laws can then be hyperlinked so an ordinary citizen will be able to quickly understand the meaning of the law. 44 Sone Ki Chidiya.2. 10. significant revenues will be released to be redirected into core functions. All pending vacancies will be filled up and a much higher number of better paid judges provided.6 Definitions Act All definitions will be rationalised.5 Transparency in appointment and transfer of judges The current system is often charged with being biased.3.1.2. Singapore 1. 10. Lok Adalats. The pay framework would ensure comparability of judicial salaries with private legal market compensation. 10.2.2%. 1. and independent oversight of judicial appointments and transfers implemented. one of the most important of these being justice.S.01% of the GDP on justice in 2000. however. In particular.

designations. By firmly rejecting frivolous litigation and imposing costs.2 Rejecting frivolous litigation That the 192nd Report by the Law Commission. 2005. it has all the trappings of the system established by the foreign rulers. approach.80 crore pendencies/arrears/backlogs today and cases drag on for years together.2. 10.2. method of resolving disputes.2. the Law Commission begins with these observations: “Any organization – serviceoriented in character – can be appraised in terms of (a) effectiveness in the achievement of its objectives-goals – results. preventing many citizens from ever receiving justice and constantly violating their fundamental rights. 2005.1. This will be punished. What are the goals of objects to achieve which justice delivery system was devised? The Indian Judicial System is admittedly colonial in origin and imported in structure.2. in its mode. Sone Ki Chidiya 45 .2. unnecessarily appealing even when the laws are clearly in favour of the other side. We will review cases of all undertrials in prison charged under IPC. Anti-national elements (e. enacted in some states so far. recommended with certain exceptions.3 Reducing procedural delays There are about 3. the concept of a vexatious litigant and the court declaring a person as such.6 Competency of judicial functionaries In its 117th Report (1986). We will ensure disposal of all 10 year+ criminal cases by end-2014. The Vexatious Litigation Prevention Bill. language.1 Stern punishment for frivolous government appeals and delays The government is known to be a huge contributor to delays. 10. We will ensure that government does not delay matters unduly. 10. We will enact such legislation to impose costs on parties engaging in frivolous litigation.2 Fast-track courts for crimes committed against person We will ensure fast track courts for all crimes against person.” 10. method of work.1 Key human rights outcomes No imprisonment without guilt It is a shame that thousands of prisoners have been in jail for well over ten years without their guilt having been established.10.2. replying to notices and replying without application of mind.3. in matters where it is a party – at various stages – from evading notices. on training of judicial officers. Except for crimes against person they will either be freed on bail or permanently released if the time they have served is more than fifty per cent of maximum the sentence possible under statute.2. Exceptions to this will be personally investigated by a Judicial Commission.3.2.2 10. and (b) promotion of internal ‘efficiency’ in order to achieve the results. Without even a semblance of change in the last four decades since independence.2.g. The Report concluded its recommendations in the form of a draft bill. with a maximum time for judgement set at 12 months from the date of crime. 10. terrorists and those who pose a grave threat to the people and nation) would be tried quickly through special courts. we will allow the courts system to focus on serious matters.

or of senior citizens) or their peculiar nature (affecting custody of children.4 Hearing arguments soon after evidence The 77th Law Commission Report recommended that arguments should be heard soon after the close of evidence. except where the circumstances are beyond the control of that party however. Rule 2 where Clause (b) stipulates that no adjournment shall be granted at the request of a party.8 Internal Review System: Accountability for timely justice We will ensure that accountability for speedy and effective justice is placed squarely on the Supreme Court.2. Lawyers are also paid per court appearance and therefore have little incentive to resolve cases.6 Removal of endless appeals Cases are often disposed without deciding the real issue. habeas corpus petitions. Further.3.3. election matters. and unessential ones at that. That Order 20. as they take much less time than arguments advanced after a long interval. This results in endless appeals. We will rationalize and streamline civil and criminal procedures.3 Proper prioritisation Cases requiring urgent attention / priority would be identified. CPC does not allow more than 3 adjournments and is to be read with the proviso to Order 17. we will ensure that trial courts judgments should deal with questions of fact by appraising the evidence. 10. prolong matters considerably. relevant statutory provisions and such authorities that have direct bearing. given their urgency (where orders have been passed whereby other proceedings have been stayed. CPC would need to be complied with as to the 30 day time period within which the judgment should be pronounced. and yet should also deal with inconvenient contentions and crucial arguments. procedural laws allow lawyers of clients who oppose the resolution of cases to submit endless interlocutory appeals.5 Stopping unduly lengthy examination of witnesses There is a tendency to over-prove allegations in India. against orders of remands. 10.2.10. Rule 6A in preparation of the decree within 15 days should be complied with. evading service.) and dealt with on priority basis. adjournments are sought and obtained at the asking and other delays are being allowed with impunity or at very nominal costs.7 Strictly enforcing three adjournment rule Dilatory tactics including frequent adjournments. etc. delays in serving.3. Order 20. .. those involving the death sentence. Also. Where possible we will introduce time limits on arguments.2. etc. And to conduct unduly lengthy /prolix examination and cross examination of witnesses. to avoid such obfuscation of justice. Rule 1. 10. 10.3. if any. delay in filing documents.3. Rule 1. We will take steps to introduce penal provisions in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Acts to punish any unnecessary prolix examinations. 10. motor vehicle accidents. eviction for bona fide reasons. and recommended that the court must insist on the lawyers appearing in the case immediately presenting their arguments upon the conclusion of evidence. That although Order 17. Judgments should be brief and not a show of learning.3. Litigants or lawyers would be able 46 Sone Ki Chidiya.2. in practice.2.2.

Sone Ki Chidiya 47 . 10.2.4 Removal of contempt of court provisions Contempt of court provisions will be lodge complaints against delays to an Internal Review System of the Supreme Court.

media (television. . metal production and associated industries.11. Based on the application of modern management methods. for any group to imposes its ‘morals’ on another so long as there is no direct harm caused by others. 11.1 Well-defined property rights Property accrues through our actions (including actions of our parents). However. Most prohibitions on trade and occupations will therefore be removed.2 Getting the government out of business A government has no business to be in business. decorum will be maintained. This should not blind us to the fundamental issue that most such enterprises have bled major losses and harmed the taxpayer. banking. and revenues generated for government. a few illustrative freedoms are outlined below. particularly in telecommunications. print). These sectors can then be better monitored and instead of being driven underground. therefore. First order function: Right to produce and trade There are all kinds of people in society. We believe that running a business is not the job of government. cement industry. power generation and distribution. insurance. We note that freedom (that must always be subject to accountability) is comprehensive and no listing of freedoms can do it justice. Marketbased solutions such as the Coase theorem will be applied in relation to pollution and other externalities. The main reason the state exists is to protect our life and liberty. Private property will be clearly defined and strongly protected. 11. radio. 48 Sone Ki Chidiya. including occupations considered ‘immoral’ (in line with the wisdom of Chakaya’s Arthashstra). as example of the liberties we commit to defend. We are committed to protecting the life and liberty of all Indians. there is no justification in this time and age for government to be engaging in business activity. We will curb any attempts of government to take on a commercial or production role. domestic and international trade. and further. distribution of food. and tourism. The role of the state is to define the precise scope and extent of these rights. Property therefore arises from justice. some of the existing public sector undertakings have been generating greater than market return. Without clear property there can be no trade and hence no civilisation. Accordingly government businesses will be returned to the people. mining. particularly when it has grossly failed in performance of its primary activity. It should not produce shirts or run public sector enterprises. fertilizer production. automobiles. It is improper. Patents will be strengthened and intellectual property rights vigorously enforced. and how these are to be attributed and defended.

particularly 65 years after independence. These options (to be examined for feasibility) could include selling individual trains (with rakes) with owners able to set competitive. 11. no person is made worse off while almost certainly everyone is made better off. Through voluntary trade. Hence we will scrap Sone Ki Chidiya 49 . independent regulatory bodies will be created to regulate monopolies where industry is found unable to regulate itself. 11.3 Well regulated free markets Government can support business by establishing and maintain rules for the functioning of markets. Incentives for production are inherent in competitive enterprise under such safeguards. We will remove all unnecessary controls on production.1 Regulation of monopoly Monopoly is almost invariably caused by government supported reduction in competition. for instance) or forcing people to work in collective ventures. Arguments of infant industry are not tenable. where citizens voluntarily trade and barter. with no “skin in the game”. by blocking enterprising people from working. We will evaluate past experience and create transparent methods to maximise the sale price of government businesses. cannot experience the incentives which the private market – through competition – naturally experiences. However. It can also assist by enforcing contracts. We also affirm that the state has no role in planning market exchange (through quotas on production. and charge a user fee to owners of trains.3. trade or other business. The tracks would not be privatised. Indians cannot become world-beaters. Where necessary. Without facing global competition.Large parts of defence production can be successfully contracted to the private sector. Railways would maintain the track. Further. public officials. 11. 11. Markets. have made India a very difficult place to do business. and regulating against fraud. are the appropriate platform to determine the economic worth of any services or goods we produce. We will minimise monopoly by promoting domestic and foreign competition.2 Deregulation of business Successive governments in India.4 Deregulation and decontrol of prices We believe that it is impossible for governments to obtain the extensive knowledge of local events and incentives that is necessary for the determination of an appropriate price. unsubsidised prices.3. Local governments should also be able to plan urban spaces and infrastructure to facilitate production and commerce. thus adds to the society’s wealth. we disagree with the method of disinvestment including secret deals which cause a serious loss to the exchequer. signalling system and security of the system. Railways too will be subject to competitive pressures with a range of innovative options considered.

Throughout the world. Through the forces of demand and supply wages will be correlated to productivity.all government established prices and allow prices of all legally traded goods to be determined by the law of supply and demand. after ensuring anti-poverty systems and crop insurance systems are fully functional. such as effects on wild life. and propose simplifications and improvements that make it easier for citizens to be assured of what they pay for. These rules impede growth in labour-intensive industries and motivate firms to remain small.[Source] We believe that a free market for labour is the best way to ensure growth and employment. communication standards. not mandatory) minimum wage. An exception will be made for agricultural prices. the working conditions of workers have been advanced most through innovation and advances in productivity. We agree that workers have the right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining with employers so long as unions do not force workers to join them.e. make it hard for firms with more than a handful of staff to fire people. A government has no capacity.8 Environmental justice and sustainability Accountability or justice is the foremost value in a free society. the sector that is needed by the people will automatically advance though the monetisation of people’s demand. and choose any reasonable mechanism to agree enterprise bargains. and pollution of land. 11.7 Standardization and quality control Setting standards is a task that government can undertake either directly or indirectly (through co-regulation of national and international industry standards). and to direct employment to growing sectors. 11. air and 50 Sone Ki Chidiya. and standards for adopting children. except to suggest a “desirable” (i. which will be incrementally deregulated.5 Free labour markets (with collective bargaining) India’s 51 central and 170 state labour statutes. To the extent that broad rules are ensured. to pick winners among various options for development. being an umpire of the economic system.6 No second guessing the growth direction of the economy We believe that opportunities for full and lasting employment in all sectors of life are best created through the progression of natural forces of supply and demand in a growing economy. We will review all aspects of standardisation and weights and measures including educational standards. We will not interfere with wages established by markets. some of which pre-date independence. This is also the surest way to reduce unemployment. Industry-wide or nation-wide attempts by unions to force wage conditions through uncompetitive (monopolistic) power will be discouraged. 11. 11. . nor any reason. We believe that it is important to minimise ill-effects of human activity on the environment. equally as employers have the right to hire and fire.

) and invisible to the human eye (electromagnetic spectrum).2 Converting national parks into regulated private spaces In the long run. As a prelude to such longer term strategy.g. Within that property and subject to any broad and generic zoning restrictions (arising from a sensible land-use policy position) individuals must be free to build whatever structure they believe is appropriate. will also be used. We will also implement a streamlined. we will open national parks incrementally to environmentally appropriate private sector tourism and wildlife expansion investment. external costs will be recovered from them directly and polluters will be forced to repay the affected community.8. subject to usual safety provisions. A range of incentives-based solutions. failure to do which would lead to imprisonment for extended periods.8. emission standards that force industry to innovate). This will allow rapid creation of much-needed infrastructure and private sector projects while minimising the harm caused to wildlife and the environment. space). are a sustainable way to align incentives of owners with the public interest.1 Solutions to ensure environmental justice Property right allocation Most such ill-effects can be resolved through appropriate allocation of property rights and stringent regulation (e. etc. In relation to assets that lie above the property envelope (i.2 Cost recovery from polluters To the extent that polluters can be individually identified.e. This can include mandatory requirements for polluters to clean up toxic spills. Passing costs to the rest of the society and the environment cannot be tolerated. privately managed national parks. 11. such as trading of permits within limits to pollute. A variety of tools will allow markets to deliver the desired results.8. 11.3 Natural resources policy We believe in strong property rights over land which is bounded by an envelope specified under the law. 11. below the ground (minerals.8. Sone Ki Chidiya 51 . we believe that each citizen has an equal right. water.1. Pigovian taxes will be imposed on the activity that approximates most closely the activity undertaken by the polluters.1. Polluters will be made to pay.1. 11.1 11. 11. riskbased environmental impact assessment process that will match the level of assessment with the magnitude of environmental risk from projects (both in the public and private sectors). with economic rights assigned to owners in a manner consistent with regulations that preserve environmental values.3 Pigovian taxes for general pollution To the extent that polluters cannot be individually identified. if necessary with deterrent levels of penalties.8.8.water including by hazardous waste.

To ensure that public ownership does not translate into undue private gain of any single individual. In addition. 52 Sone Ki Chidiya. . and allow for sharing of the value from such resources across the entire nation. Shared resources across different states should be dealt with in light of this broader principle of equal resource access to each citizen. market based mechanisms would be used to allocate the resource to its highest use. Since only some citizens will be interested in using specific natural resources. and we will support the latest technologies and means to monitor such use. we believe the use of underground water resources needs to be regulated by the state. Through these and related means. the outcome in each case would need to be market-based. subject to environmental sustainability. and used as one-off revenue. India will achieve environment-friendly and sustainable development. Any revenues generated would be added to the Consolidated Fund.

In general the poor need only this to succeed. Evidence is now clear that rapid economic growth driven by broad-based educational enhancement is key to reduction of poverty. In such acts of helping others. What we need in India is an environment suitable for generating rapid economic growth.1 Role of charities Despite the best efforts of individual citizens.2 Role of the state to ensure a social minimum A system of charity can. Individuals are expected to rise to the occasion to help their suffering brethren.12. We believe.1 Eliminating poverty in three years Over the last fifty years. that the government get out of their way. Many aspects of this manifesto deal with this most basic and time-tested way to eliminate poverty.among citizens in serving others. Where such work is used as a pre-condition for proselytisation. In such case an honourable society would foster the innate sense – also inherent in India’s tradition of moral obligation and fulfilment . Indian funds could potentially be used subject to open disclosure of the purposes of such conversion. on many occasions. physical. prove insufficient for the task at hand in a large country like India where the poor mostly live in villages or slums that are difficult to reach. the giver often receives at least as much as the receiver. regulatory control would be needed to ensure that the poor are not being bribed to change their religion.1. that India has wasted enormous amounts of money on ill-conceived “anti-poverty” programs. In such matters. there will be some who suffer from infirmities. Sone Ki Chidiya 53 .1. 12. however. the state has a role by exempting contributions by citizens for such charitable work from income tax. governments in countries with far fewer natural and human resources than India have been able to create far greater opportunities for their citizens than India has. We will also ensure that no foreign funds are used for any proselytization. Second order function: Equality of opportunity 12. The poor need to be allowed to work and achieve their potential. thus impinging on freedom of religion. 12. Mahatma Gandhi said that “All the help that the poor need is that the world get off their backs”.g. with barely any of this funding reaching the poorest of the poor. These have merely created opportunities for millions of bureaucrats to line their pockets. L angars in gurudwaras or other institutions of charity (e. and require support from others. psychological or cultural. Pingalwara) have done wonders over the centuries.

no one in India need be desperately poor. ensure a social minimum for everyone in India. after first completing first order functions very well. Tax the rest of the community in a way that will meet this requirement. Find out how much is needed to completely meet the gap in order to get the income of these people above a particular number. be easily eradicated. and chance. Identify the people needing such assistance during a given year. Stop our enormously wasteful expenditures on illogical. 3. 54 Sone Ki Chidiya. unproductive and corruption ridden subsidies. in which they will be assisted by digital recording equipment and record-keeping methods. We will eliminate (not just alleviate) poverty within three years. all families with income below the poverty line (relative to the number of number of family members) will be directly funded an amount sufficient to eliminate poverty through an electronic bank transfer. merely double the 1. the youth are no longer interested in working.1. or borrow this money against future government income. do five things: 1. Thereafter. . poverty can be abolished virtually overnight. efforts. lodging income and wealth tax returns by every adult in India will be made compulsory irrespective of the person’s income level. This would include high quality private school education for all children and a guaranteed top-up for the poorest to eliminate poverty. Given the challenge of organising this task. and should.1 Negative income tax (NIT) system Poverty in India can. The poverty line will be adjusted for inflation. but will remain linked to a very frugal level of existence. and anyone who is able bodied but does not work. As experienced in all Western societies which are now suffering badly from distortions introduced by a welfare state. finally 5. To implement this programme. 2. Transfer this money directly to these needy people. is denied any handout from society.We will. While inequalities of income are an inevitable by-product of different talents. in advance of the actual requirement. and equity-based distortions in every productive endeavour. Preliminary calculations show that if the money India squanders annually in the name of the poor is directly spent on funding the poor. private agencies will be hired to assist in this task. We are very conscious that the free society should not degenerate into a “welfare state” which creates incentives for people to stop taking responsibility for themselves. in principle. 4. there will be 67 crore tax payers in India in three years. In the same ratio. That will be prevented by ensuring that the top up is only give to genuine people.34 crore taxpayers of Australia which has a population onefiftieth of India’s.2. poverty alleviation programmes. and. Today we only have 3 crore tax payers in India. We need to. even though a good proportion of them will get advance payments of well-targeted negative income tax to help them overcome poverty. 12.

all subsidies will be scrapped and the public distribution system wound up.This system will be radically different from that implemented by the Congress government. Getting every Indian to complete standard 12 may therefore sound like a pipe dream. noting that caring for the disabled is the primary responsibility of the family or parents. 12. These NIT payments will become fully operational in the fourth year across the country and. Such programmes are fundamentally flawed in many ways. about 16 per cent of India’s children in the age group 6–14 do not go to school at all. which was neither tested. Further. noting that this does not amount to compulsory education. As far as children of the poor are concerned. we believe that thy must be given an equal opportunity to succeed and achieve their potential through access to high quality education. 12. after a year of implementation and evaluation. In addition to NIT. as indicated elsewhere. nor related to any overarching programme to abolish all other programmes. nor well targeted. counter-checks will be placed through private audit agencies. and the rich not receiving any) that can be encashed in any school. For this purpose we will ensure a system that gives electronic vouchers to parents (with the poorest getting a very high amount. Most also drop out of school well before completing high school. This would also include support for equivalent vocational training. Today. amounting to tens of millions of children. We will guarantee support for the education of all permanent residents of the country who want to study up to standard 12 or age 18 (whichever comes first). This will allow parents of the poor to admit their children to the best schools in their locality. we will create a specific create policy for disabled persons.2 Ensuring access to high quality education for the children of the poor The education system will be liberated from shackles imposed by government.2.1 Details Twelve years of education is now a norm in most free nations. About half a dozen pilot projects will be rolled out by the end of the first year and the most effective (not cheapest) method will be selected for national implementation. Our solution will be to deliver high quality education to all children Sone Ki Chidiya 55 . with carefully designed contracts that punish for wrong identification. To ensure that the NIT program India’s largest IT companies will be invited to propose methodologies to implement this system. But it will be achieved quickly with the policies outlined below. It is expected that India’s vast NGO/religious agency network will play a significant role in proper identification of the poorest of the poor. and will invariably be gamed by the system. This will also enable high quality schools to be established in rural areas since the parents in these schools will have access to significant amounts of money to attract the best teachers. This model is also vastly superior to direct attempts by government to give cheap loans or direct subsidies to the poor.

The current approach is too centralized and bureaucratic. Finally. . in order to educate every child. by private citizens themselves). Further. We also know that parents generally prefer to send their children to private schools because the standards of accountability of these schools are much higher. whatever exists without a specific owner is destined to be neglected. on the other hand. not hinder. A Director of Schools will generally demand stringent standards from private schools that want to be licensed but will be pathetically indifferent to the shoddiest quality of education provided by government schools themselves. the lands and buildings of government schools are not being used in the most efficient manner. each child’s school education will be funded. The private sector. at the end of the process of maintaining a school and providing high quality educational services. this will only help. a government regulator can become an effective judge of school quality. However. Governments are also very soft on their own failures. can only make a living if it delivers high quality services in a cheaper and better way than its competition. Since schooling is largely a state subject. In this model. There is no reason why it should be prohibited in the case of schools. or deal with lakhs of school teachers directly. as follows: • Schooling will cost child ‘A’ nothing if parents choose a school which charges their ‘A’ a fee equal to or less than what the government is prepared to fund that particular child. a school can make a profit. The average government bureaucrat or teacher has good intentions but no incentive to deliver world-class educational services at the lowest possible cost. individually. up to year (commonly known as ‘standard’ in India) 12.e. we know that managing a school is a hands-on exercise like managing a business. As a rule. we find that the government does not need to build. If we apply the criteria for the review of government activities to the school sector. If. Privatization will ensure much better resource utilization.of India at the cheapest possible price. both theoretically and empirically. therefore this policy will apply initially to Central Government schools only. and not manage schools or appoint teachers. Our current socialist approaches are completely inappropriate. It will not be of concern to us whether privatized schools are run as ‘forprofit’ or ‘not-for-profit’ institutions. if all education services are provided by the private sector (i. However. the commitment of private school owners towards the maintenance of buildings and school infrastructure will also be enormously strengthened. By giving ownership – in most cases through educational consortiums – to teachers. states will be given incentives to move to this model. Governments are very inefficient in doing hands-on things and running businesses. the supply of more good schools. Privatizing all government schools will therefore ensure that all schools in India are fully accountable. It leads to mediocrity since local information can never be factored into the equation. under the current system. 56 Sone Ki Chidiya. We will fund parents for their children’s education. Parents get full value for the extra money they invest in their children’s education. own and maintain schools. Profitability is the finest signal of quality in a marketplace.

The government would retain the right to acquire land from school owners for other public purposes where it becomes necessary to do so. 6 If there are no buyers for schools in particularly remote areas. upon payment of slightly greater than market value. Honouring parents’ choices can only be a good thing. A government should never interfere with a parent’s choices without very good reason – only if both parents have a conclusive record of neglecting their children can a government make better decisions on behalf of the child. 5 buildings and equipment will be sold at market rates through an open tender in which educationists working in these schools will be encouraged. This method of private sector provision of education is as guaranteed to succeed as India’s current method is guaranteed to fail. Over the course of the first 30 months. School owners will be allowed to operate business activities approved by the (local government) council from the school campus after school hours. the existing arrangements will continue for another year. they will get a specific amount for each specific child they enrol. after making suitable arrangements for the children affected. Let me now outline the model in detail. It is expected that such consortiums can create a persuasive business case to raise bank loans and buy the schools with repayments to be made from earnings made over the years. The following conditions would apply to the sale:  The school’s land cannot be sold for 50 years. independently tested standard. There is no • • 5 Where the land (as in many villages) has been donated by the community to the school. all government schools will be privatized. and make a bid.  The school’s land or buildings cannot be used for any primary purpose other than school education. The more the children that these schools can enrol and pass out at an agreed. the greater the money they will receive. the proceeds of the sale relating to land will revert back to the local community. No one could be a greater wellwisher of a child than his or her own parents. Their land. through a (small) preference in the conditions of the sale. This method will also ensure that the choices made by parents are honoured. Sone Ki Chidiya 57 . Schools will bill the government for each child individually. Schools will not receive funding as a lump-sum which is unrelated to the size and nature of their enrolments.• Schooling will be partially subsidized where parents choose a school which charges a fee for ‘A’ over and above what the government is prepared to fund that particular child. Schools will therefore have the incentive to go out and literally beg parents – such as parents of child labourers – to send their children to school. to form consortiums which can be registered as companies or societies. we will get completely out of school ownership and management. School Privatization: • As a first step. when a similar sale is attempted again.6 Funds raised from the sale of schools will form part of a one-off increase in government revenues to be used to offset the initial increase in core function expenditures.

Schools would self-assess against standards established by an independent association of educators nominated by the education industry. This number would be linked to a database which records key biological features of the child and photographs of his/her parents. it could be launched. even if this may make it harder to raise loans. Only the most efficient schools. A new identification number would thereafter be allotted to each child who subsequently reaches the age of four. So long as even one other efficient competitor could set up a school in any place in the country. There will be no barrier to the potential size of a consortium. we would have allotted a unique identification number to each child in India between the ages of four and eighteen. through ‘deemed licensing’. • Schools will not be protected from competition in any way. Practically anyone could set up a school anywhere. fully accountable to the parents for the quality of education they provide.  The consortium which buys the school will not disadvantage existing staff for up to five years from the time of purchase of the school on a similar sliding scale referred to earlier. to prevent potential falsification of records commonly done by illegal immigrants to India. in preparation for this program.incompatibility between having temporary shops or a small gym as a side-business operating in the school building after school hours so long as the funds raised from these activities by the school help to keep it solvent and keep its fees low. School will bill the government each month (or quarter). If the buyers of a school turn out to be bad managers. seeking reimbursement against eligible vouchers (eligibility below) for each child. by name. This database will be linked to Sone Ki Chidiya. Poorly managed schools will be bought out by more efficient schools. Schools would be permitted to enrol children only at the beginning of a school year and parents will not be able to change their children’s schools during the year unless there are exceptional circumstances. each school will be compulsorily required to purchase bankruptcy. will survive. the size of the consortium would not matter. while also meeting the quality standards prescribed by the education regulator. By the thirtieth month. This model will create a competitive market for high quality schooling. There will be no quotas or limits on the number of schools in an area. So long as a school complies with quality requirements. This openness is necessary to prevent monopolies of any sort arising in what should be a completely free market. charge any fee and try to attract students. Stiff penalties would apply if a school was later found to have violated the standards. workers’ compensation and public liability insurance from the market. fire. this insurance will prevent the school from going belly-up and children from suffering. or worse. and notify the education regulator of their existence – that would amount to becoming a licensee. to be reinsured initially by the education regulator until the rates of school collapse are better assessed and private market premiums finetuned. To prevent the financial collapse of schools through mismanagement. An efficient consortium could potentially buy out all schools in the country. • • Child-based funding: • • 58 .

Unlike higher education. Schools would be required to report a child’s death or transfer from the school within one month to the voucher service provider. will work with the independent education regulator to ensure that minimum outcome standards of educational attainment are met by each school. Therefore schools in economically backward areas will be able to afford much higher salaries for teachers. The quality difference between government and private schools is therefore quite vast. The independent education regulator will monitor the quality of these providers and ensure the overall integrity of the voucher system. Education departments and directorates. The system today does not provide genuine equal opportunity even though it is based on the socialist ideology of equality. which will manage the overall budget for school education. and that vouchers are administered properly. basic health forms part of the Sone Ki Chidiya 59 . by then. The voucher system will be managed by a range of private service providers under strict conditions of accountability. The social infrastructure department.3 Ensuring emergency health for all. This higher allocation for poorer parents is a crucial part of the model. would be mostly disbanded by the end of the thirtieth month. Parents would pay an amount over and above what the government voucher reimburses the school for each of their children separately. Stiff penalties will apply if preventable fraud is detected at any level. Poor parents would of course not pay anything since they would have highvalue vouchers. and basic health for the poor Health care can be split into two elements – basic health and hospitalization. since children with predominantly high-value vouchers will attend such schools. Vouchers will therefore differ in value. • Children would go to a school selected by their parents. Richer parents will pay a top-up amount. Our policy would make schools in rural areas or slums extremely attractive to potential school owners. and would generate a voucher of a specific value. Children of poor parents will get vouchers of a much higher value than children of wealthy parents. many of their teaching and non-teaching staff would have been. Should it be found that a school has charged the government for a child who was no longer studying there. the school will face financial penalties including potential withdrawal of the school’s license and criminal prosecution of the school owners. all schools will be able to provide a robust quality education at the minimum. Excess payments made for the child to the school would be recouped through the parent’s future taxes. • • • • • 12. linked to that income and to the expected educational costs for a child of that age. An annual adjustment would be applied to the value of a child’s voucher after the income of the child’s parents is declared to the tax office.the previous year’s income tax return of the child’s parents. employed by the larger consortiums. and potentially attract even better teachers than schools in urban areas. In this manner. as well as inspectorates of schools. and does not allow children from rural areas or slums to prosper.

defence and police.4 Non-discrimination by the state In addition to ensuring non-discrimination in public office on grounds of religion. Discrimination within the education system for reason other than merit undermines the foundation of reasonable equality of opportunity and must be severely dealt with through appropriate laws and enforcement. Options for that will be prepared for detailed public consultation in the coming months.1 Phasing out reservations Dr. caste. Ideally.4. The poverty line for purposes of negative income tax would include a buffer to allow for such routine costs to be incurred by the poor. so as to avoid without hampering the incentives to work. However. It calls for compulsory insurance. just as no one can be allowed to starve. B. use of experimental medicines or medical techniques not available for general use. Should it be necessary. In the manner we pay for roads. . R. not a private. freedom and the defence of our life requires the state (after its first order functions are fulfilled well) to put in place a system of equal access to education for all children. and a scheme of social insurance that insures all citizens against significantly adverse events through the tax system. People will be free to take private insurance at levels beyond this coverage for ambulance services. occupation or political affiliation. people who have not self-insured but end up on the doorsteps of a hospital once they fall badly sick or injured cannot be turned away in a humane society. noting that the social minimum should be enough to eliminate dire poverty but not to provide comfort. or cosmetic surgery. this is a usual part of living and no extra effort is called for to equalize the playing field. things can become complex. for major medical matters.requirements of equality of opportunity. in proportion to our incomes and not in proportion to our use. is cause for much desperation among those who are not even remotely associated with the social discrimination it seeks to redress. This policy. But now there appears to be no end in sight to this policy of reverse discrimination. early booking of elective surgery. However. a private hospital room. Having collected the hospitalization premium. Ambedkar wanted reservations only for ten years. i. hospitalization and emergency care will be provided by the government to every citizen by charging taxes which will form a compulsory insurance premium. to the extent that people should meet the costs of their visits to doctors and medication from their own savings or through insurance. each free citizen should take private insurance or self-insure.e. Therefore the concept of voluntary insurance or self-insurance breaks down for hospitalization and emergency care. designer spectacles. 60 Sone Ki Chidiya. 12. Major health care therefore becomes a public. but get it delivered. which violates the foundational principle of equal treatment under the law that is enshrined in the Constitution. 12. However. being non-excludable. economic and feasible alternatives such as retraining of workers could be considered at minimal cost. we will not directly deliver the service. treatment at a hospital of choice or by a doctor of choice. good.

The directive principles in India are unique and their existence can be challenged on the ground that the Constitution should not include policy mandates for future governments.The initial period of reservations. This standard expectation on minimum standards is consistent with individual liberty. Apart from such minimum standard on personal matters. with power being retained in the political family. we believe there is merit in a norm-setting personal law code which establishes a minimum standard on all personal matters such as minimum maintenance requirements upon divorce. Instead of this we believe that each political party should give greater representation to women.4. is now more than six times over. We are committed to giving greater political representation for women through our party processes. Hindu Laws or Muslim Laws) and replace these with generic rules of accountability. . At the minimum. Ambedkar. Religions often specify matters such as marriage and divorce. and in doing so minimise any ill-effects of any continuing discrimination practiced by society. Instead.2 A minimum standard for everyone. B. as foreseen by Dr. there is no role for the state in religion. 12. it should ensure equal opportunity through access to high quality education for all children. we will take steps to abolish reservations in seats to elected bodies. The government. is merely our servant and should not try to influence social matters. violating the life or liberty of family members. educational institutes. and minimum inheritance requirements in absence of a will. however. jobs and promotions. Families should be able to structure themselves without. Policy is a privilege of an elected government to adopt. Once reasonable equal opportunity has been assured to all children. We will review religious laws (e. R.g. reservations are used by selfproclaimed champions of the disadvantaged in a manner that has divided the nation and threatens its integrity. Today. Sone Ki Chidiya 61 . Any religious requirements applicable to families are outside the scope of the government’s jurisdiction. it gives one more reason to meritorious people to leave India. In complying with requirements of their individual personal faith. Reservation of seats for women often results in the spouse or close woman relative of established political leaders parading as “representatives” of women. These are personal laws and involve the most intimate unit of human existence: the family. not a Uniform Civil Code Article 44 of the Constitution contains a directive principle that the state shall endeavour to secure for citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. We believe that religious leaders should work towards total abolition of caste-based discrimination. Reservation is particularly inappropriate to correct gender discrimination (assuming a government has any role in this area at all). citizens could be asked to abide by any agreed minimum standards. on the other hand. Regardless.

In particular. subsidies for Durga Puja on the ground that these will increase tourism in a particular city are not admissible expenditures from the public purse. ‘language-blind’. 12. 12. ‘caste-blind’.5 Letting tribal India engage with modernisation at its own pace We believe that tribes of India need continued protection by the state to allow them to develop at their own pace. Making political claims based on religion can often provoke or lead to violence. . including women. through protecting the equal rights of all. the government can have nothing to say about the merits of the content of these debates.12. ‘tribeblind’. FTI recommends preservation of Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution. a government has no cause to recognise ‘minorities’ as a specific category using religious (or related) classifications. 62 Sone Ki Chidiya. This means that any protections and exemptions will be reduced for those who have embraced modernistation and achieved parity with the rest of India.4. irrespective of the basis of their advocacy – including religion. Similarly. Indeed.4. Note that this does mean the state must be secular. A government’s job is to come down heavily on individuals and organizations that advocate or use violence. or temple management by government functionaries is not acceptable in a free society. we will allow women to rise and take their rightful place based on merit in any field of their choice. In particular.3 Ensuring greater respect for women Although a government is not best placed to undertake social change. it is best to see it as non-denominational. such as armed forces. and tasked with a different job to that of religion. While debates among different religions are a natural part of free society (so long as these are conducted in a non-violent environment). while ensuring that no subsidisation of any religious or other minority takes place. However. subsidies for religious pilgrimages such as for the Haj. We believe that a government must be ‘religion-blind’. since they effectively fund a particular religion. Government cannot financially support religious activities. we will remove all restrictions on women in any field in government services. then a separate category of ‘minority’ rights will not be needed. For instance. until the rule of law is well-established in India.4. if everyone has equal freedom. Our religious and political goals are different domains and should not be allowed to mix.4 No role for the state in matters of religion We advocate the complete and total separation of the state and religion.

we will procure work from Sone Ki Chidiya 63 . This is particularly feasible in public transport. under competitive regulatory oversight. In such cases where competitive management of infrastructure (under stringent rules laid down by the government) by the private sector is not feasible using world-best methodologies. telecommunications. Similarly. not manage businesses. canals. energy and water. etc. given the new polices we will introduce. franchising or privatizing existing services will be considered in the first instance. Instead. there although there is a great need for greater internet broadband penetration. the private sector will be given the opportunity to build and maintain infrastructure through competitive contracts that drive value. 13. can be advanece.13. significant private sector involvement.1. The user pays principle (through cost recovery) will be enforced in such cases wherever possible. Second order function: Infrastructure 13. we will ensure that the creation and maintenance of infrastructure is handed over to private initiative and subject to the normal laws of markets. History shows otherwise. Inefficiency and waste resulting from unnecessary government involvement has resulted in stunted maintenance and growth of infrastructure. Our railways. We will create excess capacity in infrastructure.1 Infrastructure We will ensure that India gets world class infrastructure. communication. telecommunication system. although such situations are extremely unlikely in the future. sufficient to comfortably meet the highest expected demand growth. Wherever possible.1 Private investment in infrastructure Except in the rarest of cases. It is sometimes taken for granted that roads. and in any event this approach is inconsistent with the core function of government to provide security. all direct management of construction and maintenance of infrastructure by government departments or public sector agencies will be brought to an end. 13. given the social insurance scheme. must be created and maintained by the government. Even in areas of supply of water and sanitation.1. thereby reducing pressure on the general budget. Where possible. under regulatory supervision.2 Efficient creation and management of stateprovided infrastructure In some cases the state will still need to take an active role in roads or even an entire river basin’s development. and choking roads are serious bottlenecks to economic prosperity of citizens. this is an area where government will play only a regulatory role. Some infrastructure will also continue to be built in emergency situations through Test Relief. railways.

with accountability of relevant public sector managers to deliver results. . 64 Sone Ki Chidiya.private vendors directly through competitive bids.

We do not treat people as a “problem” about which government has any role to play. even as it is put to commercial or other cultural use. population will become a non-issue in every way.14. and why should someone who doesn’t believe in a particular matter or belief system pay to preserve the culture of another group? While we will continue to preserve ancient Indian monuments we believe these should be incrementally transferred to the people with appropriate regulatory control that ensures the monument is appropriately preserved. 14. will be dealt with by the market on the basis of any real demand from the people. This is ultimately a matter for social reformers. We will. As can be seen from the response of most Western nations to rapidly plummeting populations. continue to permit abortion as an option to women who may choose to have one. however. which in turn creates further prosperity. 14. We will also ensure that all donations to religious bodies are fully disclosed to the authorities to avoid black money donations. assuming we have the right to consider any other human being as a “national asset”. We do not expect well paid bureaucrats to be able to resolve this social problem. This is consistent with the need for government to withdraw in a phased manner from subisidisation of any actual religious activities or management of religious institutions.1 India does not need a population policy We believe it is extremely inappropriate for a government to interfere in personal family decisions of citizens in relation to the number of children they may choose to have. once the health systems are fully privatised. We also realise that there is an inhuman underbelly of India in terms of excessive abortion of the girl child. To Sone Ki Chidiya 65 . We do not also see any need for government to subsidise family planning initiatives. Questions about culture beg the question: whose culture. large market) drive major innovation. it is clear that population is an asset. All studies demonstrate that networking effects of a large population (and availability of a competitive. These matters. Third order functions of government 14. Once India becomes a wealthy nation and its citizens are well educated.2 The government doesn’t have a role in “preserving” cultural heritage The government has little or no role in matters of culture.3 Global warming A small component of the global warming that has been occurring on Earth since the end of the Little Ice Age in around 1850 can be attributed to man’s efforts to industrialise through carbon based energy sources.

. We do not believe there is sufficient evidence to suggest that any small additional warming caused by man’s efforts is cause for concern.4. It is equally (or more) likely to provide a net benefit for life on earth. Although this is a not a role for government. import duties would be abolished for any equipment used for competitive sports.1 Sports People should form and operate organisations for competitive sports. we will foster and support civil society institutions and think tanks through tax breaks. We insist that any global pressures in this regard are unacceptable. 14. Exaggerating potential harmful effects of global warming and taking undue steps to curtain use of energy will severely harm the life and potential of hundreds of millions of Indians. we will encourage those organisations which take steps to bring back foreigners of Indian origin back to our shores. In particular. it has not been possible to distinguish between normal warming (the Earth is still cooler than what it was in the medieval and Roman warm periods) and man-made warming. we will give such organisations tax benefits and where necessary. some matching contributions for stadia and other infrastructure. To assist such healthy social capital activity. While we believe India should monitor research in this regard. Further.4 Social capital and international resurgence of India The creation of a sense of fraternity amongst the diverse peoples of India is a task long overdue. 66 Sone Ki Chidiya. it should not undertake any direct steps to reduce CO 2 emissions till (a) conclusive evidence is found and (b) all developed countries have brought their per capita emissions India’s per capita level.

1 Agriculture Although there is a significant demand for free water and electricity for farmers. This will allow market signals to be freely transmitted to selfemployed peasant proprietors who will be incentivised to obtain the most competitive yield from their investments. We will promote an open and transparent market in land that permits free entry into and exit from the agricultural vocation.1. 15. We believe the agriculture is a priority sector and the government and citizens must recognize and honour farmers. Implications for specific policy areas The general principles of freedom outlined above will be broadly applied. as needed. private efforts towards irrigation. resulting in negative subsidies and barriers in access to technology. This includes facilitating consolidation of land through a land exchange to allow trading the right to cultivate land.1.1. would be strengthened. including cooperative efforts at the village level. Wherever possible. A few illustrations of the impacts of these policies in different sectors are outlined below. This will also allow Indian land to be more sustainably managed. If the Indian economy does well. It remains critically important for government to focus on infrastructure and developing well regulated markets in the sector instead of dabbling in prices. 15. While increasing food production to meet the needs of a growing population is an ongoing issue for India. in the end citizens have pay for these things since government does not produce any money nor wealth.15. we believe it does not require food self-sufficiency. 15. including linking up canals where feasible.1.1 • • • • 15. Drip irrigation will be encouraged to minimise impacts of monsoon failure.1. any shortfall in food can be met through imports. Strong land rights and responsive land market This is an area requiring some active management by government. This exchange will be closely linked with the land records system and allow quick land transfers where Sone Ki Chidiya 67 .2 Bigger and more efficient irrigation infrastructure We will build greater infrastructure for irrigation. The Indian farmer thus does not get an equal chance for proving himself. the farm sector has suffered most under excessive government control and restrictions on freedom.1 Market based agriculture industry However. Tradable water rights will be introduced where practicable to enable efficient use of water.

We will remove all restrictions on the supply and prices of agricultural inputs as also restrictions on post-harvest treatment including marketing and exports.1.1. e. and cooperative department officials prevented from undertaking any corrupt. The Essential Commodities Act will be repealed. However.1.1. 15.1.4 Market based risk management Private insurance companies will be encouraged to insure farms and crops. private enterprise marketing and warehousing networks. we believe there is fundamentally no nutritional difference between most fertiliser-pesticide grown crops and organic crops. This will ensure a reasonable and steady price for agricultural produce. while retaining a floor price in selected cases during a phase out period. 15.3 Freedom to produce and trade Farmers will be allowed to trade commodities globally. This will also permit an informal voluntary retirement scheme for those who wish to find a place in other sectors. All laws permitting forcible acquisition of after achieving a “ceiling” in land holdings will be scrapped.7 Organic farming We believe that excessive use of pesticides is harmful to humans and to life in general.participants decide to exchange ownership. a. on parity with other prices.5 Phased price deregulation We will deregulate prices for key agricultural produce. There is already as strong growing demand for organic farming and Indians should be free to choose the kind of food they wish to eat. Encouragement of information network that would offer easy access to internet to all villagers. This will significantly reduce barriers to productivity. To that extent we do not see any need to provide any specific support for the organic farming sector.1.1. We will tightly regulate the use of pesticides. Ceilings on land are inconsistent with liberty and enterprise. More responsive cooperative farming regulation will be introduced. The monopolistic systems of Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would be phased out and substituted by market based. f.6 Subsidies phased out Agricultural subsidies including irrigation (water) and electricity subsidies will be phased out.1. subject to honest disclosure of the source. as also the regime of Public Distribution system supported by compulsory procurement through the FCI. 15.1. . 15.1. whimsical actions. Moratorium on all coercive recoveries from farmers. Development of a laboratory network that would offer farmers facilities for examination and certification of their produce. 15. 68 Sone Ki Chidiya.

In doing so. It is one thing to provide a level playing field for people to develop their talent and quite another to Sone Ki Chidiya 69 .1. we will ensure stronger uptake of indigenous Indian languages through regulatory measures for schools. however. we will ensure that no current government employee in the education sector will be adversely affected in this process. 15.1. Indian farmers will be able to prevent any significant loss arising from unforseen weather or other contingencies. It may. This will mean that there would be much greater control over syllabus by schools and parents. It is expected that matters such as greater moral education are included as part of such an mechanism. subject to delivering on the competitive standards expected by private sector educational employers.2. Although market forces should normally make a reasonable determination of appropriate land use. 15.2. standards of quality education (including curriculum and assessment standards) will be jointly established through the education industry and the industry required to enforced these standards. We believe urbanisation must take place primarily on infertile land.2 Education We believe that Sanskrit. 15. we will seek explanations for such transfer.15. would tend to provide a range of options for crop insurance for both small and big farmers. and parents can exert their preferences through their choices. Through appropriate regulatory oversight on the honest disclosure of the relevant insurance product in a competitive insurance marketplace.9 Fertile agricultural land not to be acquired unless absolutely necessary There has been a strong tendency for fertile land to be acquired for urbanization. where market forces are likely to acquire fertile land for urbanisation. The government will get out of direct management of any educational institution. Government must not involve itself in the management of the education industry at any level. Citizens will have the freedom to educate their children according to their choice in a free atmosphere untrammelled by official directives.8 Crop insurance We believe the insurance market. This will mean that we will work with the education sector to establish coregulatory frameworks of standards and systems that allow flexibility in the content. lightly co-regulate (through the industry) to ensure quality standards are demonstrated to the consumers (parents/ students). 15. Hindi and regional languages need to be preserved and to that extent. mechanisms and methods of education. if allowed to be fully established. For instance.1.2 Subsidised loans to students for higher education There are no entitlements to higher education. not educate. Educational institutions will be free to choose the medium of education.1.1 Education industry to be freed from government shackles The government is required to govern.

in response to market demand. futures and derivatives markets for efficient management of risk. We will raise the transparency and accountability of listed companies and capital market intermediaries so small investors return to the capital market. We will help establish well-regulated forward. There is no public good involved. it is equally important for big industries as it is for small industries. To support this. Once poverty has been eliminated. The rupee will be floated. internet telephony. communication satellites. To ensure this. everyone should be free to produce whatever they wish or can. 15.3 Industry policy There would be no industry policy. There is no reason for the government to manage the delivery of tertiary education. all constraints on hedging will be eliminated.6 Information Technology The information technology sector will be thrown open to the private sector. to be repaid through the tax system. significantly more than those unable to pursue this opportunity. Those who wish to leave the country after being educated at the taxpayers’ expense will need to provide a bank guarantee equivalent to the amount of their outstanding loan. subject to prudential regulation. 15. No regulatory exemptions will apply for specific sectors based on size. . and Foreign Exchange Markets It is the role of government to establish well-regulated markets. it is important to ensure that all those who obtain admission to institutions of higher education are able to raise sufficient money to attend the courses.demand entry to the highest levels of human activity. Heavy license fees and the practice of earmarking of territories for companies will be scrapped.5 Financial. 15. However.4 Strong insurance markets Private insurance of all types will be encouraged. consumer electronics and semiconductor industries. 15. 70 Sone Ki Chidiya. Only persons with talent who put in the necessary hard work should aspire for higher education. we will provide a low interest loans to tertiary sector students. It is inappropriate for government to subsidise one sector of an economy at the expense of another. Those who successfully complete tertiary education earn. For instance: cabling and uplinking. which will be forfeited should they fail to return within the stipulated time. thus the benefits of higher education are captured almost entirely by them. Capital. This means there will be no special innovation or industry policy. with exchange rate determined by demand and supply. on average. Appropriate privatisation of higher education institutions will therefore be undertaken in the coming years. If worker health and safety is important.

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