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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scandals brought rational procedures on resource allocation: Arun Shourie

NEW DELHI: Former Union minister Arun Shourie said the recent expose of scandals helped put in place rational procedures for allocation of the country's scarce resources.

"There is one good thing that is happening because of the scandals. At long last because of court interventions and other things, rational procedures are coming about for the allocation of scarce resources. In mining it would happen...in 3G auctions this time for spectrum it certainly has.... We should codify these and ensure it can proceed further," he said.

Shourie was speaking on 'The Dead Hand of the State: Why the Government Has No Business to Be in Business' at the 13th India Today Conclave.

He said that on the record, it was clear that the state should not be in these activities.

The former telecom minister said that the sectors which escaped the eye of the state did well like IT while those where there was intervention did not do so.

"If you compare periods before 1991 and after it, there is a secular difference between the rates of growth because the state is less important now than what it was then," he said.

"If one sees the sectors, those which escaped the eye of the state did well like IT and those which remained in the eye of the state just could not get ahead like education," he added.

Shourie also hit out on the UPA government, saying its "core competence lied in blaming others" if its performance went poor and taking credit if some work went well.

On a lighter note, he said that which ever government comes, it has two illusions. "One is that they can turn around public sector enterprises and the other is that they can improve relations with Pakistan," he said.

Advocating that all allocations must be related to outcomes and not inputs, the former Union minister also called for reversing the "perverse norms" which have come up in the society.

"We must put excellence at the top. There is no place in this world for a second rate country and there should be no place for a person who puts in second rate effort. We must change our own conduct," Shourie said.
Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-03-07/news/48005502_1_arun-shourie-former-union-allocation

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