Ineffective Bodies

Ineffective Bodies
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Any given society is an agglomeration of individuals and groups , which include(s) trade and commerce bodies and so on. These are distinct groupings which are rather apolitical but which constitute , in theory a contrapuntal force. Trade and commerce bodies are antidotes and in the nature of a corrective to what goes wrong in the realm of trade and commerce in society. Consider an example from Europe- especially Scandinavia. In these regions, trade and commerce bodies are effectively woven into the political economy of these societies. Wages, productivity and allied themes and issues are determined by these bodies in the larger interests of their respective societies. But, alas, in Kashmir, our trade bodies are, by and large, nominal and notional. While they exist as bodies and conduct elections and what have you, but their effectiveness and efficiency is called into question. The reasons appear to be multifarious. One reason that predominates is the lack of technocratic expertise in these bodies. There’s hardly any economist , or, in the least someone who has a birds- eye view of the economy and political economy of Kashmir on these bodies. Second, these bodies also do not have a sophisticated understanding of socio- economic issues of Kashmir. Third, a general inertia appears to define these bodies which makes them rather disconnected from developments within and without Kashmir. Cumulatively, these reasons and factors render these bodies ineffective and disconnected from real economic and business issues. This is a travesty because the condition of the economy of Kashmir affects and impinges on the lives of everyone in Kashmir. Consider wages. There is an indelible link between wages and productivity. Both are important from the perspective of efficiency and equity. The minimum wage(s) in Kashmir, say in an industry like handicrafts, are so abysmally low that this condition has led to the migration of those involved at the manufacturing and weaving end of this industry to other vocations. The result is that the industry is bleeding. Examples galore can be cited in support. Trade and commerce bodies do not only have to be in contradistinction of administrations but also have to look within – industry, work and labor practices, nature of the problems bedeviling either and so on. But, alas, again no such thing happens in Kashmir. The consequence of all these factors and structural morass is that trade and commerce issues languish and are not really and effectively addressed. The effect is borne by all members of society.

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