Bimal Jalan attacks Centre's gigantic set-up sans public delivery

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) Rajya Sabha Member Bimal Jalan, the man who has been an insider in the country's fiscal process for long as governor of the Reserve Bank and in other capacities, sees the agricultural crisis and the failure of the public delivery system as issues directly related to the question of fixing responsibility.

The two issues, that are at the centre of discussion on the Union Budget in Parliament currently, today evoked an impassioned appeal to the establishment from Mr Jalan to do something to ensure accountability.

Taking part in the discussion on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha, he launched a sharp attack on the system for having a gigantic governmental set up at the Centre, but doing nothing in proportion to it for delivering to the public.

Referring to the worries expressed by previous speakers CPI(M) Member Brinda Karat and BJP Member Arun Shourie about how Rs 60,000 crore would be mobilised for farmers loan waiver announced in the Budget, Mr Jalan said that the fiscal difficulties were not the issue.

The main point was how the relief would reach the needy and if that does not reach, who is to be made accountable for that.

''What happens is that the Centre passes the buck to states and the states rest content with complaining that they do not get enough allocation from the Centre,'' he said.

''So the people today want to know who is responsible,'' he said.

He said that no one particular government could be blamed for the present state of affairs as the public delivery issues were systemic.

While praising the brilliant speech of Mr Shourie, he, however, sought to underline that the failures he was talking about had been persisting through the decades. ''Pick up any CAG Report from 1990, you will find that they come to the same issue,''.

The prerequisite for success of any scheme is to fix responsibility, reiterated Mr Jalan.

On the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver, he said the main defect in the measure announced in the budget was ''adverse selection,'' as those for whom it was meant were the one who did not take loans from institutions.

He suggested that there should be a scheme of automatic relief for districts which have deficient rains. ''We should revisit the whole programme,'' said Mr Jalan.

Coming to macro economics, Mr Jalan said today that there was a disjuncture between the real economy and the fiscal economy and called for investing more in Indian market.

Today there is an uneven playing field in the financial sector.

''Whatever you chose to do, it should have relation to the real economy.

UNI NAZ VD RAI2009

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