The Quest for a neo-liberal agenda

Wow. This is the best Op-Ed summarizing the Indian Govt’s craptastic agenda that i have seen yet. Not surprisingly, it’s from a member of the Opposition:

Topping the agenda is the opening up of the banking sector. The second phase of the process is to commence in April 2009. The move to reduce government equity holding in public sector banks to below 50 per cent is disturbing. Foreign banks will be allowed to own up to 74 per cent of private sector banks and 20 per cent of government owned banks — Credit Suisse, the Rabo group and ANZ are awaiting entry, and UBS, Dresdner Bank and United Overseas Bank have secured licences. The result will be the collapse of social banking, loss of jobs and the poor getting pushed out of the banking net.

The Finance Ministry on August 14, 2008 passed an order for the State Bank of India (SBI) to acquire State Bank of Saurashtra, as a prelude to the amalgamation of six associate banks. The SBI Subsidiary Bank Amendment Bill, 2008, is yet to be moved in Parliament. The inspiration for this merger paradigm stands discredited in its very homeland, as percipiently observed in an editorial in The Hindu on August 20: “Indian policy makers ought not to miss the point that the world’s largest banks in the United States have been guilty of regulatory transgressions and have piled up unprecedented losses.”

Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, a union of Swiss Bank and Union Bank of Switzerland, has decided to break up. Behemoths such as Citigroup, JP-Morgan Chase and HSBC Holdings have proved vulnerable, as the majors have taken a hit of more than a $300-billion (Rs.130,000 crore) in asset write-downs because of the sub-prime crisis. The International Monetary Fund estimates the final damages at $1 trillion (Rs. 43.5 lakh crore).

this is in addition to the inability to pursue any real social justice goals that the Communist Parties, for all their flaws, pushed really hard at. (big example: NREGA, which has really helped out in the most needy areas despite much opposition)