Ex-RBI Governor Dr Bimal Jalan Calls For Major Policy Reforms by Government

"We need to improve the functionality of the Parliament. MLAs with criminal cases should not be allowed to hold office."

Entrepreneurship in India is steadily taking a good shape and the government’s initiatives for Digital India are providing an added impetus to it.  

With a host of policies through the ‘Startup India’ initiative, the environment at the central level now looks conducive for start-ups.

At the 7th Annual Entrepreneur India Convention, former RBI governor Dr. Bimal Jalan spoke about how to think exponentially growth hacking for business. While lauding the government’s initiatives, he elucidated how basic reforms would make a difference and stressed that a majority government at the Centre would facilitate more such reforms.

Government at the Centre Needs to Redefine its Role

Talking about how the central government needs to review policy making and introduce administrative reforms, Dr. Jalan said, “They need to take the lead and drive policies that will encourage entrepreneurship. What needs to change is the implementation process. The government needs to minimize its role there. We don’t need any ministry to have its own mission involved in every policy. Why aren’t Public Service Enterprises, not doing as well as they should? The net deficit of their revenues is dependent on the budgetary support.”

Rationalize Delivery for All

Stressing that Public Service Enterprises need the government’s attention, Dr. Jalan said, “They need to rationalize the process of delivery through faster introduction of direct benefit transfers. We have about 60 subsidies for the poor, but very few have been digitized till date. This network needs to be expanded. Many of these subsidies can easily be clubbed into one. All of this is to make sure there is no diversion of funds. Around 48 per cent of food items from ration stores are diverted and that is a problem we have to tackle.”

Decentralization of Administrative Powers

Another reform that the government needs to look into is the decentralization of powers to the state government, highlighted the former RBI chief.

“The implementation power should lie with the state government. We need to link funds to actual outcomes and that needs to come from organizations like Niti Aayog. The states can then decide what they want to do.”

The Way the Parliament Functions

Another important point of crucial importance to Dr. Jalan is the functioning of the Parliament. “We need to improve the functionality of the Parliament. MLAs with criminal cases should not be allowed to hold office. 20 per cent of MLAs has criminal cases. These need to be expedited. The anti-defection law also needs to be implemented, so as to reduce the fragmentation of parties. Parliament must hold ministers responsible for the bills passed.”

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