India’s Inefficient Bureaucracy, Not Covid, Caused Fiscal Deficit

Economist Rathin Roy decodes Union Budget 2021 & remains unimpressed with Ministry of Finance’s performance.

2 min read

“In India, if you want to arrest somebody, it merely takes three hours to pass that order. But the appointment of a transaction advisor takes seven to nine months!”

Economist Dr Rathin Roy minces no words in lambasting the inefficiencies of Indian bureaucracy. He says further, “We have a strong Home Ministry because Indian politicians and bureaucrats understand only coercive relationship with citizens”.

In this exclusive interview with The Quint, Dr Roy decodes and explains the reason why Indian economy lacks the required push from all stakeholders.

Dr Roy also says that the tall promises made in any budget come to nought because of the slow pace at which files move in ministries. He is particularly critical of the fact that despite booming markets, Indian government could not meet the divestment targets in the financial year 2020-21.

Dr Roy lauds Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her courage in presenting a budget that shows widening fiscal deficit. He appreciates Sitharaman’s thrust on transparency in the present budget.

Discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian economy, Dr Roy says that Indian government needs a mid-term strategy and treat the pandemic as an opportunity to bring about structural changes. “Government should be lauded for addressing mass hunger and suffering, and for its efficient vaccination planning.” He cautions, however, that the pandemic is not over yet and India will have to be on its toes in dealing with it.

Dr Roy critiques Indian industrialists’ habit of hailing each budget as revolutionary. “As a country, we need to pull up our socks and get to work.” He also notes that in India a lot of time gets dissipated in social conflict which is entirely avoidable. “Leaders need to understand that elections can be won by accusing some people of doing bad things but country-building cannot happen unless the majority gets together and does good things.”

VIDEO EDITOR: Sandeep Suman

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