Its own enemy
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PM spoke of the forces bringing down the economy. He didn't mention UPA's inertia, internal contradictions.
As confidence in the economy plunges to new lows, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the unusual initiative of addressing Parliament. The point of note was not what he said, but the fact that he spoke at all. Singh sketched a picture of a common crisis facing all emerging economies as capital flows reversed direction after the US Fed's indication that it would taper quantitative easing, and also of tensions and uncertainties on Syria spilling into domestic oil prices. He spoke of domestic factors worsening the current account deficit, the rising demand for gold and crude oil, and weak exports.
The speech did little to reassure those nervous about the economy. For all his attempts to explain and engage, the prime minister appeared evasive. This was so, most of all, with regard to his government's own role in eroding the economic fundamentals. The PM spoke at length on the need for "difficult reform" in pension and insurance, to push a goods and services tax and so on, which would require political consensus and participation from opposition parties and state governments. While all this is necessary, it is also evident that the UPA has no problem pushing for such agreement by calling upon all its powers of persuasion to enact populist legislation like the land and food bills. Reformist bills, on the other hand, are clearly not a burning priority. The PM pointed fingers away from his own government. In doing so, he failed to explain why his own ministries have seemed incapable of minimal exertion on important fronts.
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