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Saturday, Dec 14, 2002

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Inspector raj has to end: PM

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The Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee, being welcomed by the FICCI President, Mr R.S. Lodha, and the President-elect, Mr A.C. Muthiah, at the platinum jubilee celebrations in the Capital on Friday.


THE persisting problems in fiscal consolidation at the Centre and State, the slow implementation of reforms in the power sector and on the labour front and the pace of infrastructure investments are cause for worry for the Prime Minister, Mr A.B. Vajpayee.

So much so that the Prime Minister admitted to industry captains at the platinum jubilee function of FICCI here on Friday that he was dissatisfied over the slow progress in several areas and also concerned that the systems, procedures, rules and regulations in the Government had still not been sufficiently reformed to serve the needs of rapid economic growth.

"Though we have done away with the licence-permit-quota raj, the Inspector Raj still survives. Many entrepreneurs — especially those in the small and medium scale sectors — are routinely harassed and humiliated under this Inspector Raj. This must end and the country has to move rapidly in several areas," he said. According to him, there is a need to increase the GDP growth rate by at least a couple of percentage points without any additional financial investments by carrying out necessary governance reforms at various levels.

"In this context, we have recently taken an important initiative. A committee was set up under Mr V. Govindrajan, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), to analyse the reasons for time and cost overruns of public sector projects, and the regulatory impediments to investments by the private and public sectors at the Central, State and local Government levels," he said.

The committee's recommendations, now under implementation, would have a profound effect on the execution of infrastructure projects and transform the character of business-Government interface, Mr Vajpayee said.

He said that there was a need to further democratise the development process. He added that the focus should be on the positive aspects of the economy.

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