Friday, September 5, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
"If after 12 years you are going to charge the secretary, joint secretary and other officers without even questioning them once, PM's expectations of an energised bureaucracy are not going to be met," he told ET.
Shourie, who was the then minister for disinvestment in the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led NDA government, explained in detail how correct procedures were followed for the evaluation and sale of the hotel.
"Arun Jaitley is the common factor between the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment (of 2002) and the present NDA government, where he handles the department of disinvestment. The Committee had cleared the disinvestment after scrutinising all the documents and procedures," said Shourie, who was widely tipped to be an important member of the Narendra Modi's cabinet.
He said that the file of the Share Holding Agreement of the property was cleared by Jaitley as law minister at three different levels.
"I am absolutely certain that every procedure was followed. There was a vigilant law minister, and his ministry cleared the file three times," explained Shourie. The first time, the file went to law ministry for whetting of the document.
It went again after the agreement was finalised and bids were invited, and then finally again when the bids were received, he said. Jaitley, in an interview to this newspaper published in today's edition, too, said there was no sign of wrongdoing in the Laxmi Vilas Palace deal.
"I have been, as a minister at that time, a witness to those transactions and I have no doubt in my mind that all the disinvesment transactions were completely above board," Jaitley told ET.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
PTI, Kochi | Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 10:22 hrs
Former Union minister for disinvestment Arun Shourie today spelt out 15 cardinal principles to resolve India's growth hiccups. (Reuters)
Former Union minister for disinvestment Arun Shourie today spelt out 15 cardinal principles to resolve India's economic growth hiccups and put the country on a higher growth trajectory.
"The first lesson that India should learn is to face the facts. Do not go by declarations but go by the facts. The second cardinal principle that the country should learn is to change. You must change in tune with time. Incessant and incredible steps to change are required," he said.
The third norm to spur growth is to focus on all sectors and it is no longer enough for India to be excellent in one or a few sectors. India being a large country should excel in sectors across the board, he said, delivering the 13th commemorative lecture organised by FedBank Hormis Foundation.
The next was that incremental steps to change were no longer enough. "What is needed is a tectonic shift in approaches," he said.
He said the country should be able to own up facts rather than shy away from them. Also the fact was that today's is a 'heartless world' which leaves no room for second rates but a country like India's size should be first rate in all spheres.
"The country must muster enough courage to shed shibboleths and old habits. Also building partnerships across the spectrum of society is an important step towards success. Giving more powers to states by devolving it from the centre is also important."
Federal Bank Chairman Abraham Koshi, Bank's MD and CEO Shyam Srinivasan, ED Abraham Chacko, FBOA General Secretary Paul Mundadan and Raju Hormis, CSR Head, Federal Bank also spoke on the occasion.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
Laying the foundation stone of the R.C. Bose Centre for Cryptology and Security at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here, Shourie called for more such centres to develop India's indigenous capabilities in information security.
"With the click of a button, our enemies can paralyse our important and strategic establishments or even the country. Besides foreign countries, we also need to be on our guard against terrorist organisation who are known to be highly proficient in technology," said Shourie.
Citing the 2007 cyber attacks on Estonia as well as the hacking of personal computer of the Dalai Lama, Shourie called for immediate firewalling of all strategic and infrastructural establishments.
"China has been very explicit and has listed out 15-20 points where they want to strike and paralyze and disorient another country. While investigating the computer hacking of Dalai Lama, experts from the University of Toronto found that computers from 130 countries were being monitored including Indian embassies," he said.
"So when are we going to wake up? The sad part is, the government's initiative to firewall important establishments is still lingering where it was 10 years ago," said Shourie.
Talking about the Rs.115 crore centre expected to be completed in the next two years, ISI director Bimal K Roy said it will play a significant role in augmenting indigenous capabilities in the critical fields of Cryptology and Information Security.
"It is an important element of the overall efforts and framework to enhance capabilities to ensure holistic security of Indian cyber space. With an eminent body of world class experts, it will act as a hub for all cryptographic requirements, cutting edge research and technology development within the country," said Roy. - See more at: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/223375141#sthash.57y8wLtB.dpuf
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Monday, June 30, 2014
Delivering a lecture on "Instigating Reforms" to mark the 121st birth centenary of celebrations of eminent scientist and applied statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (1893-1972) at the Indian Statistical Institute here, Shourie said innovative reforms were indispensable for the country, which is steadily getting into a debt-trap.
"India is steadily getting debt-trapped... the situation is so precarious that our leading banks and public sector undertakings (PSUs) are failing to raise money from the market. Immediate and innovative reforms have become indispensable," said the former minister of disinvestment during the previous NDA government.
Shourie put the onus on states to push for reforms by making legislation using Article 254 which deals with inconsistency between laws made by parliament and the state legislatures.
"Everything cannot be done by Delhi. States need to come forward and resort to Article 254(2) of the constitution that allows the state legislation to prevail, provided the president gives his assent. If a few progressive states start, the rest will follow suit," he said. "By creating a holding company for the PSUs and the public banks, we can raise money from the market against the collective assets. On the other hand, there is an urgent need to monetise assets which are idle or non-performing," he said.
Shourie laid emphasis on disclosure of all financial transactions by PSUs and banks and financial institutions.
"PSUs and financial institutions are often forced to buy shares of other PSUs to allow them to raise money. Quarterly disclosure of financial transactions by all PUSs, banks and financial institutions should be made," he said.
The senior Bharatiya Janata Partyleader also criticised policy makers' reliance on only official data which are often vastly different from the indices on the ground.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
"Inflation is not like an electric switch that can be turned off or on anytime...the new government will take some time to control the rising prices," he said.
Shourie was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the 46th convocation ceremony of IIT Kanpur, where he was awarded a 'Doctor of Science' degree.
His remarks came against the backdrop of rising prices of essential food items like vegetables, fruits and cereals that pushed up inflation to five-month high of 6.01 per cent in May. Food inflation stood at 9.50 per cent last month, while the manufactured inflation was 3.55 per cent.
Shourie blamed the previous UPA government for the price rise, saying, "During the UPA regime, India's debt had increased considerably. So the new government may have to take a few tough economic decisions. Only then inflation will be controlled."
Holding the UPA government responsible for India's slow growth, he said, "The previous government had considerably reduced development expenditures because it could not decrease the non-development expenditures. For this, the new government will have to take some tough decisions on the economic front only then will the people get relief from inflation."
Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan was the chief guest of the function.
Telling students about India's Mars mission, the ISRO chief said the biggest challenge will be on September 24 when the spacecraft is supposed to enter the orbit of Mars.
If it is done successfully, India will be the first Asian country to place its spacecraft in the orbit of the planet and the world's first country to do so in the first attempt, he said.
A total of 1,273 IIT students were awarded degrees at the ceremony.