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Friday, Jan 02, 2004

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Composite ministry

This is with reference to the editorial "A downsizing dream" (Business Line, January 1). As rightly pointed out in the editorial, the proposal of the Standing Committee of Parliament on Industry for consolidating the Ministries of Coal and Mines, Oil and Petroleum, and Steel under one composite ministry is a step in the right direction.

In the era of liberalisation, when there is not much interference from the Government into various economic sectors, it is only right that many of the redundant ministries are brought under one umbrella. This will save both the money and energy of the government.

Also, its energies can be better employed elsewhere. However, the senior bureaucracy is not likely to look with favour on any attempt by the political class to trim career opportunities in the higher echelons of administration.

Also, as pointed out in the editorial "unless there is a strong leader with a deep and abiding conviction about the necessity for cutting administrative flab and a popular mandate to go with it, recommendations such as this would remain merely on paper."

Balakrishnan. T


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