The AAP’s new seven-member team of economic experts, who are to formulate the party's economic policy, is hard at work. Already, a stream of views – divergent and sometimes conflicting -- has started pouring in.
Sample some of the suggestions in the three basic drafts brought to the table by the team: Contribution of direct taxes will increase from 55% to around 65% over eight years; AAP does not support preference for taxation, different labour laws etc for SEZs; support to FDI in all sectors, barring defense related and sensitive areas, but not at the cost of creating monopolies and reducing dependence on direct taxes.
Here are some more: Promotion of ecologically sustainable and socio-economically equitable production processes and consumption patterns; leaving commercial and for-profit activities to people and ensure they play by the rules; avoid appropriating land for private purposes as much as possible, as far as possible it should only take land for public use.
“These are just some of the suggestions. We are broad-basing these with more inputs from the new members and aligning them to our party’s baseline stands we will arrive at the final economic policy,” said Dilip Pandey, AAP’s Delhi secretary, who is also part of the committee. “For instance, we are firm that we oppose FDI in retail. This will not change.”
The committee had been formed on Sunday, days after the party faced flak for its decision against the FDI in multi-brand retail in Delhi. And while the AAP had firmly maintained that its guiding force would always be the common man, it had included votaries of free trade like Meera Sanyal, former CEO of Royal bank of Scotland, India, Laveesh Bhandari, director of economics research firm Indicus Analytics.
Other members include noted environmental economist Aseem Srivastava, scholar and social expert Atishi Marlena, businessman Prithvi Reddy and former corporate executive Sanjiv Aga.