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Tamil Nadu looks at lateral hiring for State PSUs

BL Chennai Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 27, 2022
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan | Photo Credit: Srikrishnan P C 9477@Chennai

State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan says there’s a need to increase the government’s administrative capability

Tamil Nadu is looking at lateral hiring for State PSUs like it has done for Guidance — the single window portal for attracting investment into the State, said State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan at the CII India Finance Forum 2022: Beyond Resilience: Revival & Transformation, on Thursday.

“Lateral entry or co-opting from the industry, at some level, we don’t have a choice as we don’t have enough human beings. Definitely at the senior levels, like Guidance, we will bring a lot more people from outside for the PSUs. It's the right thing to do with the Chief Minister’s guidance, and a more detailed discussion. That's the direction we are headed,” he said.

‘Most systems archaic’

“We have to increase the administrative capability of the government. Many of our systems are archaic. The complexity of government has increased exponentially. The scale of the economy, the size of the population has gone up, and in most cases, we have not built the infrastructure, the systems, the institutional memory and continuity to match,” he said.

The shortage of IAS officers in both States and Centre is an example. There are not enough people. In Tamil Nadu, there are only 300 IAS officers. “We are not exactly with the surplus either,” he said.

‘Staff up, tool up’

Taking GST system as an example, Rajan said for something of this complexity, and a relatively new system, there are relatively few people working on it full time. “I am a finance minister and also a GST Council member. The convenor of the Council is the Revenue Secretary, who has a day job as Revenue Secretary. The fitment committee members are all IAS officers with day jobs with their respective governments. One of things that needs to be done is staff up and tool up the systems that are the backbone of the country’s revenue and administrative system,” he said.

Tamil Nadu, in the Budget, had announced the setting up of a special Think Tank. “We should ramp it up significantly. We are going to invest a lot in the intellectual workforce,” said Rajan, who is also a member of the Group of Ministers on GST system reforms.

Published on January 27, 2022
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