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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
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'Is The Government Serious About Reforms?'

"It was a well-thought-out decision," says Dr E.A.S. Sarma, Economic Affairs Secretary till the day before, relaxing in his spartan sitting room on half-pay leave and defending himself on the phone to his colleagues for quitting the ias a year before

'Is The Government Serious About Reforms?'
'Is The Government Serious About Reforms?'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Did you and the finance secretary have to go because the government wanted a new team to present a new-look budget?
That's possible, a new team does help look at old problems in a new angle. It's the government's prerogative.
But won't this impact the budget exercise and reforms?
It may not. But if you study the average tenure of senior bureaucrats in key ministries over the past five years—power, petroleum, coal—it will come to about seven-eight months for each. Which begs the question: is the government serious about reforms? Did you have an eventful tenure?
When I was power secretary, we piloted the work on regulatory commissions and the transmission bill. I was shunted out of here because the minister didn't like my face. Then when I was expenditure secretary, we started the process of signing MoUs with states. In economic affairs, I piloted the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, but there is so much uproar.
What does the Bill focus on?
To have a medium-term fiscal plan and an independent group to check whether the government is sticking to it, and a...
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