Why is Congress obsessed with stopping Bullet Train and Central Vista?

Dr. Manmohan Singh is back and he has some advice. And it appears that he would like to be taken seriously. This time, he has a problem with the fact that the Central Government has frozen Dearness Allowances (DA) for employees until late next year.

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So how much is the Dearness Allowance? About 4% of Basic Pay. Meanwhile, here is the Government of Maharashtra, in which the Congress has managed to become a ruling partner, despite finishing fourth in the elections.

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Anywhere between 25-50% of salary frozen and deferred for state government employees. According to calculations by several expert economists, 4% is a lot less than 50%. Also bear in mind that dearness allowance is merely a compensation for inflation. With the economy at a standstill, right now the risk is one of deflation and not inflation. So, with the dearness allowance frozen and no inflation, the purchasing power of a Central Government employee would remain the same.

This is hardly the case with Maharashtra state government employees, who could see 50% of their salary deferred. You can easily imagine how this would wreak havoc on household budgets.

Why does it appear as if nobody listens to Dr. Manmohan Singh?

Anyway, among the demands made by the Congress, a call to scrap the Bullet Train project and the Central Vista redevelopment project in Delhi.

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Why does it feel like scrapping the Bullet Train and Central Vista have become a Congress Party obsession? They seem to be a couple of weeks away from saying that one of Rajiv Gandhi’s dreams was that India would never have a Bullet Train?

Now, if Dr. Singh took himself seriously as an economist, he would know that in times of recession, it is for the government to spend money on large public projects.

Indeed, when the Great Depression hit the United States in 1929, the government put people to work as part of a massive public works program. This came to be known as the “New Deal.” Under the formidable Franklin D Roosevelt, the US government created the Public Works Administration (PWA) in 1933. The PWA completed some of the most iconic infrastructure projects in the US, including the legendary Hoover Dam. The infrastructure that the US created in that decade laid the foundation of the post WW2 boom when the US began a 70 year reign as the world’s pre-eminent economic, military and industrial power.

In fact, the economic crisis triggered by the Wuhan Coronavirus could be the moment for India to launch its own “New Deal.” This is the time to build those bullet trains, dams and super highways that could last us for several generations.

And considering that the bullet train is financed with a near interest free loan from Japan, it’s a no brainer.

Along with the PWA, President Roosevelt also created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of his New Deal. The role of the WPA was to fund the construction of public buildings, museums, theaters, libraries all across the United States. If Dr. Manmohan Singh had been around, he would probably have called them vanity projects.

It is not difficult to imagine why the Congress is so obsessed with scrapping the Bullet Train and Central Vista. They are probably worried that India might end up with landmarks on which they won’t be able to stick the names of their one great dynasty. With no workers, no organization skills and no ideology, the Congress is just a brand name. Without everything being called “Jawahar this” or “Indira that” or “Rajiv Gandhi XYZ,” the Congress would have to shut down.

It’s bad enough that the Congress is being taunted for spending its decades in power allocating Bharat Ratnas rather than building toilets. What if tomorrow India has a bullet train and nobody gives credit to Rajiv Gandhi for dreaming it up? What would the Congress do then?

Hence the Congress obsession with stopping the project at all cost.

Incidentally, I have some advice for Dr. Manmohan Singh. More like a request.

Respected Sir, in the final days of the UPA government, your government gave you a parting gift that you would never have to pay for water and power again. In view of the economic crisis due to Wuhan Coronavirus, how about giving up that subsidy? Why not pay your own power and water bill? I am sure the nation would appreciate the gesture. Thanks.

5 thoughts on “Why is Congress obsessed with stopping Bullet Train and Central Vista?

  1. The Central Vista is a useless project and should be shelved. The bullet train project should continue. And we should not build dams if we dont really need them.

    Anything that improves productivity in an economy is good. Bullet trains, highways, metro trains improve productivity of the population and are worthwhile investments. Central Vista – doesnt improve productivity and most of our MP’s hardly do any real work. Dams also dont improve productivity. even the Hoover dam was a waste. Hence Central Vista and dams are not good investments. In general, most public works require taxes and taxes discourage production.

    The book ‘Economics in one lesson’ by Henry Hazlitt has a great exposition on what activities benefit an economy. It starts off with a great question – A boy breaks a window pane. Is it good or bad for the economy ? Read chapter 2 of the book for the answer

    The pdf of the book is here, hope Manmohan and Nirmala Sitharaman read this as well

    Click to access Economics%20in%20One%20Lesson.pdf

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  2. When one has to kick start an economy from stalling due to any crisis, government spending in general and on infrastructure projects in particular is a necessity. One doesn’t have to be an economist to know that. But who knows the eminences lined up by congress like Moan Moan Singh, Rockstar Rajan etc. will advice against it as they parrot what the Dye-nasty want them to parrot. The lure of the PM seat is too great for them to be truthful to their own selves forget about them being truthful to others. So if Moan Moan Singh and Dye-nasty are saying something then the opposite is true and good for the country. Its as simple as that. The more the Dye-nasty and its minions shout against some something, the more it is for the benefit of the nation. Of that there cannot be any doubt. A bullet train project employs thousands of people when it is under construction and after it is constructed. Any mega construction project in general employs lots of people with different skill sets. Manual labour, skilled labour, technicians, professionals, etc.
    In pappu’s and Dye-nasty world 50% cut in salary amount is lesser than 4% freeze of DA. You seen 4% > 50% because if the state is ruled by Congress then the rules of mathematics is different than when it is not ruled by Congress. You see, Dye-nasty and Congress have invented “relative mathematics” an hitherto unknown subject to anyone in the world. In this world of relative maths the rule of numbers differs from person to person!! So results are entirely unpredictable!!! What is astonishing is that the eminences they line up also are now inflicted with this relative maths syndrome!!!!

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  3. Second-guessing has become an obsession for the Congress leaders. They are trying to give the impression that they care for ordinary people more than BJP does. They believe that people will not notice what Congress-ruled states are doing.

    My favorite public works project is, merging of major rivers. India will have to prevent as much freshwater as possible from flowing back to the ocean.

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  4. Einstein once said – Subtle is the lord but malicious he is not.

    Of the Communists of India(in all their assorted shades, shapes and colours), the opposite holds true. We can say – Malicious are the Communists but subtle they are not. It is their lack of subtleness that makes it so easy to defeat them

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  5. Khattar does a Fadnavis

    Hindus need to find ways of avoiding the temple tax

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