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The goals for India in 2022 have been set. At 70, we are aiming for a youthful `New India'. The vision, articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in his Independence Day speech, delivers a country, free from the tyranny of abysmal public delivery of goods and services.
This miraculous turnaround must begin with the government, by introducing transparency on how it spends every paisa of the exchequer's money . Without spending right, and showing it to be so, New India will remain just another political promise.
A 2015 Centre for Global Development study (`Promoting the Development Power of Economic Transparency', Owen Barder) cites why openness and accountability matter for development. It says, “Underdeveloped countries are characterised by 'extractive institutions' that prevent political and economic competition and that enrich a narrow political and business elite at the expense of the broader population.
“These institutions are not the result of ignorance or lack of capacity to improve them; instead, they persist because they serve the interests of political and economic incumbents....Greater transparency and openness improve domestic revenue collection and facilitate greater accountability of governments, firms and institutions to their citizens.“