Vantage point

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Daily SomeAchaar - BMC Measures for Preventing Recession

by our general correspondent

Mumbai: The next time you complain about Mumbai roads being dug up and relaid all round the year under different pretexts, remember that it is this very roadwork that is behind the booming economy that you are so happy about.

This correspondent has learnt from reliable sources that the never-ending, perpetual, all-encompassing, and seemingly ill-planned roadworks all over the city are actually part of the BMC's plan to keep the economy healthy. The reason that India, led by Mumbai, was able to kick off the recession of the late nineties is these very roadworks.

Apparently the then BMC Chief was clearing out some old books from his house, and came across his old Economics class notes. Thumbing through the notes, he came across a solution by John Maynard Keynes, the noted economist, to fight recession. Keynes had suggested fighting recession by pumping money into consumption. He suggested doing so by hiring people to do seemingly meaningless jobs like digging holes, and then filling them up. By paying people for these jobs, the government would be giving them money which they would spend in the marketplace, and give the economy a boost.

The BMC decided to lead the country out of recession by following Keynes' advice. They started hiring people to dig up the roads, and others to fill up the holes and relay the roads. To deflect public anger, excuses such as "water pipes need to be fixed" or "electric lines need to be fixed" or "storm water drains" were given. In reality though, the BMC through its incessant roadworks is pumping money into the economy and fuelling consumption.

The next time you read an article praising the booming Indian economy, remember, it is the dug up road outside your house that is responsible for it.