Dravidian Model has not yet reached its full potential, says T.N. Finance Minister

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan speaking at the Colloquium on ‘The Dravidian Model: Good for Business and Human Development?’ held in Chennai on Friday

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Friday said that the Dravidian Model has not yet reached its full potential.

“The system has not yet been brought to the level of execution where we should see the full benefits of the values and philosophies and approaches of the model,” he said at the Colloquium on ‘The Dravidian Model: Good for Business and Human Development?’ organised by Centre for Leadership Excellence, Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) in association with the Dravidian Professionals Forum in Chennai

‘Model adopted from history and culture of T.N.’

Mr. Thiaga Rajan said the Dravidian model is a unique leftist model that was adopted from the history and culture of our land. The core of the model is that everybody should have the same rights, opportunities, access, equal social mobility and prospects. The model has been validated more than any other model in other States or even in other countries.

He pointed out that Tamil Nadu is one of the four largest richest States in India. In terms of human development, social development, inclusion and social justice, Tamil Nadu is far ahead, when compared to the other three large States.

The Finance Minister also pointed out there has been very little debate about pushing back from the philosophy of the model in the assembly proceedings, in social constructs or in public meetings or political platforms. The Dravidian model works well for businesses in the private sector too. Having more diversity in the workforce helps in robust debates and superior outcomes. Businesses that reflect the diversity of the society they operate in are more tuned to the needs of the customers, he said.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan also said there are miles and miles to go in terms of execution and implementation capability.

‘Freebies not wrong’

To a question on freebies, he said the notion that the State giving something to the people is somehow basically wrong, is a complete fallacy. However, he said that he was all for understanding about who should get what, and ensuring that only those people who need something, get it.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan said giving subsidies to those who don’t need them does not improve productivity and supplements inflation. For instance, he pointed out the ₹4,000 dole given to rice cardholders during the COVID-19 pandemic, also went to people who have never bought goods from ration shops before and they did not access the shops after receiving the dole.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan said it is important to have better data to target the beneficiaries and outcomes effectively. He pointed out that the data purity project helped the government better target the jewel loan waiver scheme and save a lot of money.

J. Jeyaranjan, Vice-Chairman, State Planning Commission said one of the successes of the Dravidian model is that it has democratised the development process. In 1980, the per capita purchasing power of Tamil Nadu was on par with northern States. Now it is 4 times more. The inequality is lower in the State, he stated.

The session was moderated by C. Joe Arun, SJ, director, LIBA.

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