August 25, 2005, HT Live

Should the economy be market driven or government driven, corruption and participation of the common man in economic development were among the issues discussed at a seminar in the city on Wednesday.

Some of the perplexing questions were: “Under successful economy whether market should control the government or government should control the market?” “What we can do to combat corruption which is the main hindrance to the success of the programme?” “How should we assess the future in reference to development?” “Though there has been economic development, the social development is lagging behind.” “From where can the participation of common man be invited for development?” “How should we ascertain it?” “How much has agricultural trade contributed to economic development?”

The above issues were discussed at the seminar on ‘National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) and its prospects on Economic Reforms’ organised by CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research and Training (CUTS-CART), Jaipur in association with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, New Delhi (FES India) at Patel Bhawan, HCM-RIPA, JLN Marg, Jaipur.

In the beginning of the seminar Rajendra Kumar Sharma of CUTS mentioned the background of the seminar and activities to be undertaken under the project.

Addressing the seminar, Secretary General of CUTS Pradeep S. Mehta said the nation is facing serious economic challenges. Development is also big challenge, which includes the issue of poverty.

There is no consensus over the NCMP; this is a matter of great concern. Government has to pay more attention to ensure its implementation.

On this occasion, senior journalist of the newspaper ‘Business Standard’ TCA Srinivas Raghavan said we have to think whether there is a need for implementation of the NCMP. Another important issue is how the benefit of public investment reaches the common man.