Twitter truth fells flying elephant

Online poll pricks biz ease bubble

By A.S.R.P. Mukesh in Ranchi
  • Published 12.09.18
The JSIA poll on Twitter

Ranchi: Can the elephant fly? Not if one goes by the ongoing Twitter poll by businessmen on the efficacy of Momentum Jharkhand, the state government's version of Make in India to attract investments and ease the way for doing business here, for which the flying elephant logo was conceived.

Jharkhand Small Industries Association (JSIA), with 500 entrepreneurs as members, concluded a 24-hour Twitter poll on Tuesday to bring out the real picture of small scale industries and entrepreneurs/businessmen in the state in what could be a damning indictment of the government's economic hard-sell before the 2019 polls.

Under the hashtag CanElephantFly (#CanElephantFly), the poll questioned: "Have you been able to take benefit of various Industrial Policy, Export Policy & Start-up Policy in last 4 years of @dasraghubar government?" After 24 hours at 8.05pm on Tuesday, of the 37 votes polled, 11 per cent voted "yes, received subsidy", while rest 89 voted in favour of "no, ineffective".

A similar poll by the association on Sunday, which ended on Monday evening, had posed the question: "how is power condition in Jharkhand?" Of the over 100 votes that it garnered, 91 per cent voted in favour of horrible/bad.

JSIA secretary Anjay Pacheriwala was careful to add that their intent was not to criticise the chief minister or his government, but to "wake the government up from complacency". After "many attempts" to talk to "people in the government" failed, they turned to social media, he said.

"Yes, you (government) came up with several policies to facilitate smooth business and investments. But at the same time, it is the same government's job to assess how effective they are at the ground level. What are the deterrents that are directly or indirectly making things critical at the ground level and choking industries, specially the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector? You (government) can't conveniently keep avoiding these things, busy with self-promotion overdrive," said Pacheriwala.

He added JSIA members decided to "fearlessly" put their views openly to make themselves heard. "We will be doing something or the other till those concerned don't just take note but do the needful," he added.

Referring to chief minister Raghubar Das's recent China tour on exploring technologies and public-private partnership opportunities, Pacheriwala said those trips would end up being wasteful expenditure of public money "unless things are set in order at home first".

"The CM's intentions may not be bad, but we think bureaucrats around him aren't letting him know the correct picture," he said.