A new approach
Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Odisha, which have all delivered excellent growth and development outcomes for their citizens during the last decade, have one thing in common.
They all have had chief ministers who provided generally clean and transparent administration and effective implementation of infrastructure projects and social schemes.
Policy reforms that economists often advocate were not a major part of their strategy. In areas covered by the Union and Concurrent Lists of the Constitution, these states took as given the laws enacted by the central government.
And in areas included in the State List, with rare exceptions such as the agricultural produce marketing committees Act and the repeal of the urban land ceilings Act, no new legislative actions were taken.
Vasundhara Raje Scindia, the chief minister of Rajasthan, is now breaking that mould.
She is pioneering what may be called the "Rajasthan Model", which places policy reform at the centre of the development strategy.
She has begun with a bang - reforms of many laws on the Concurrent List that are crucial to the growth of employment-intensive sectors, such as apparel, footwear and electronic assembly, and that the Centre seems reluctant to touch.
Image: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje with her predecessor Ashok Gehlot during a ceremony in Jaipur.
Text: Arvind Panagariya, Business Standard
Image courtesy: PTI