Business leaders and associations, in their response to the new budget, have clearly stated what we as citizens have long felt. In simple terms, the success of the economy or a full implementation of budgetary measures depends in the ultimate analysis on the degree of good governance that will come our way.
It is true that despite so much of instability and political disorder in the recent past the economy has somehow held its own. But imagine how much more could have come the nation's way if politics had been pursued along truly democratic lines. Tolerance is not merely a matter of letting the other person state his opinions. It is also in forging a consensus on the way in which a country is to be administered.
While governance and political stability are an imperative for any economic measures to take effect, there is too the need, as the business leaders have pointed out, for a regular supply of power and gas to our industries if they are expected to show good performance.
All good intentions on the part of the finance minister will only end up being platitudes unless they are backed by resolute action. An important part of the action ought to come in the form of the government opening and maintaining lines of communication with political parties in the opposition, both within and outside parliament, business circles and broad sections of society on issues affecting the daily life of the people. A forward-looking economy needs a stable democracy to produce the needed results.