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We need to move from PPP to PPPP, People Public Private Partnership! Shri Modi at Think India Summit

On April 8th 2013, Shri Narendra Modi addressed Network18’s Think India Dialogue on ‘Why India Needs Less Government & More Governance.

Mr. Sanjay Pugalia, Editor, CNBC Awaaz introduced the topic for Shri Modi’s address. Mr. Raghav Bahl, founder, Network18, introduced Shri Modi by saying ‘he is one of the few Indian leaders that advocates smaller government with more governance.’

Below are excerpts from Shri Modi’s speech.

“I hope that this initiative by Mr. Bahl and his team works towards giving something to the country and its people,”

In India, desire for power is too high

“Sometimes when there is talk of a minimum government one of the topics brought up is the size of the government. I don’t want people to be sacked from their jobs. I endorse having the right size of government.”

If things are arranged properly, direction is given, there is a mechanism for feedback then things will work properly,

“However, it is our nation’s misfortune that everyone just wants to come to power, In India, desire for power is too high.”

Government systems work under political pressure, which affects governance

“Every year there is some election being held and because of that political parties are not willing to take a decision”

“In the government this has a major impact. Decisions are put off, not taken in order to hold on to power,”

“In my experience we have to think about this issue, there were roads, buses and people but if it was investigated it would be found that few states have rationalised routes. Because political pressures the routes are constantly reorganised leading people to believe it isn’t working properly.”

“Our systems work under political pressure as a result of which they don’t work well and faith is eroded in state mechanisms,”

Governance fails, when people lose faith in government services

“When faith in the government no longer exists people search for alternative routes,
This affects the legal framework under which society operates and affects governance further.”

“People have more faith in god than in governments because of reliability. People believe in God because whatever services he works on, they are delivered efficiently. This is not seen in the case of government or its services,”

“Government has damaged its own credibility. Nobody lights lamps in anticipation of a late sunrise. Nobody burns god’s effigies at night (because the sun has not arrived yet).”

“People send text messages to their friends and then call to ask if they received it. This indicates trust issues as well. “

Government systems have evolved, they have not been imposed upon people. Systems continue to evolve. What we have right now is not the ultimate.

“Government systems have evolved, they have not been imposed upon people. Systems continue to evolve. What we have right now is not the ultimate.”

“We were celebrating Urban Development Year. One thing came to mind- the board is elected feels – let’s get jobs for our friends. So people put their people. They lose another comes they also put their people. Thus size of Govt. increases.”

“The primary work done by a Nagar palika is not clerical, it is technical. So staff numbers keep increasing and the number of skills between them stays low.”.

“Gujarat had released Rs 7,000 crore for urban development with caveats to ensure the right size of civic bodies, which resulted in them hiring more technical staff and improving efficiency.”

“There was a shortage of technical graduates due to the infrastructure works in Gujarat.The government introduced an internship scheme within civic bodies as well with engineers so that technical posts would be filled.”

Various commissions not improving governance

See how things work- Human Right Commission…due to political reasons we made a different women commission, SC ST commission. Now if a woman or Minority goes to NHRC he or she will be told go there. I am not opposing commissions- but we can strengthen institutions

“We increased the number of commissions but not their efficiency; it is to pander to certain groups that various commissions were formed.”

“We have, in effect, broken our primary institutions. We need to emphasise the core of such institutions.”

“We think that we are givers and people are just receivers. It is a crime. When the country is ours and the people ours why should those in power be giving things,”

“We think that we are givers and people are just receivers. It is a crime. When the country is ours and the people ours why should those in power be giving things,”

“There is a need to have a change in the way society perceives itself. The government was like the traffic signal, which needed to be obeyed but was not.

“If people obeyed traffic lights then there wouldn’t be the need of a traffic policeman. Because people don’t listen to the government there is more burden placed on it to ensure laws are followed.”

Mera kya (What is there in it for me) and Mujhe Kya (Why should I be bothered) are ruining the country

“A few words have ruined us. No matter what happens we say: mera kya or if something doesn’t concern them they say mujhe kya

“When it comes to Government schools or Government hospitals, People don’t think that this is my school or my hospital, when it is their own scooter people polish it before use, but if they’re travelling in a government bus then we gradually scratch at the seat of the bus.”

If we want to implement good governance, we must look to P4 — people private public partnership

“Good governance is defined by public-private partnership. If we want to implement good governance, we must look to P4 — people private public partnership. People should be kept in the loop by the government.”

“People should get a chance to speak before a government decision is taken. This will make people feel like they have had a role to play. Wherever possible we should take the people of consent. This will speed up the pace of development”

“Once a Congress leader said that Netas should learn to say no and bureaucrats should learn to say yes. This alone will go a long way in solving our governance issues. This says a lot about what is wrong with our bureaucracy and they way people and government relate with each other.”

Technology has made the people-government link smooth

“If we examine our problems carefully it will be noted that this is where our problem lies. We should also note that technology is a great aid in improving governance,” the Chief Minister said.

“We have implemented one-day governance in the state. ‘One day governance’ under which any person could go to a government office and apply for some work which would be sorted in one day. In more than 200 villages across Gujarat, tech-aided feedback loops have solved this problem. Technology has made the people-government link smooth.”

“The more we use technology in delivery systems the better…In our nation people are not upset about things not being delivered to them but people are more upset when things go to the wrong person,”

“Gujaratis have a deeper relationship with money than they do with sweat. In order to encourage sporting culture in Gujarat, they made the selection process tech-aided. Through transparency, our Government increased the number of medals his State won in competitions.”

On decentralisation of power

“Decentralisation of power is another important aspect of governance, You will be surprised that we are having a gas grid in Gujarat and the Indian government issued a fatwa that we cannot implement it,”

“The ongoing dispute in the Supreme Court over the issue, he said that such actions only destroyed the faith of the people in governance.”

“Boiler inspection was done by the State Government. Boiler Inspectors were few in number. We decentralised the boiler inspector position and made industries responsible for their own boilers.”

“Similarly, we made a law making Nagar Palikas and Mahanagar Palika’s responsible for lift inspection. This reduced the burden on the state”

“The more we get government out of procedures, the more we will boost core functions of our system. Autonomy to smaller governance units is the way out.”

Government means rules, Governance is Delivery

“Governance is what decides the worth of a government. They are two sides of the same coin. But in order for the state of affairs to change, governance needs to be given more emphasis. Providing a bus is government. Making sure it runs on time and its staff behave properly is governance. Government is power while Governance is to empower.”

“People achieve Moksha by visiting 4 pilgrimage sites. However, government files often had to travel to over 20 tables before it is addressed.”

Socio-economic impact of govt schemes needs to be measured

“Governance is about outcome…All the governments only discuss outlay and not the outcome from it,” he said, adding that socio-economic impact needed to be measured to ensure funds were being used effectively. We need to put ‘life’ in a ‘file’.”

“It isn’t enough to put up facilities, it is equally important to improve the people’s quality of life,”

“The Sabarmati river front project gave the state carbon credits, improved the water table and reduced diseases in Ahmedabad. If we measure socio-economic benefits then it will improve our impact,”

After his speech, Shri Modi addressed a few questions from Network18 founder Mr. Raghav Bahl.

Mr. Raghav Bahl asked Shri Modi, How, in Centre-State relations, more economic empowerment could be given to States. Shri Modi answered, “Financial transfers from State to State make sense from a human perspective. Gujarat’s money can go to a State if it lacks resources. However, the Centre has made a mockery of the principle by being biased. The example of the Tiger Project and asked why crores were given to save the tiger, but none to save the lion. Is the tiger secular and the lion communal? Changes can be brought about and we can change the working of such organisations. I even spoke to a Former Foreign Secretary about allowing States to liaise with foreign countries without interference from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. This way, if a country has a good experience with one State, they will take home a good impression of India.”

Mr. Raghav Bahl asked Shri Modi about public sector privatisation. Shri Modi answered, “I have full belief in the philosophy of privatisation of public sector units. However, we are Guajratis and we will not allow there to be a loss in the public sector units. When I took over the reins, PSUs were suffering badly. PSUs are either closed or they are sold. In Gujarat we decided to emphasise on less political interference and more professional functioning in PSUs. There was a 2.5 crore loss in Gujarat in the field of power. Gujarat excelled in the power sector but the ceremony in Delhi to honour them was cancelled at the last moment.”

Mr. Bahl’s third question was about Shri Modi’s views on handling labour issues. Shri Modi said,”No political party in India can survive after offending labour groups. For some it is a political tool and others it is a tool for progress. Chandrababu Naidu and I had suggested bringing labour laws from the concurrent list to the state list. This will put the responsibility of ensuring labour is treated well on the state government.”

Shri Modi was also asked about land-acquisition. He answered, “The Gujarat government is purely the facilitator. We just put the industrialist and farmer at the same table and let them carry out negotiations. We just ensure the farmer is not exploited. Gujarat acquired land for industries and said the government should always work to ensure the benefit of its farmers.”

Shri Modi was further asked about his stand on FDI in Defence Manufacturing, he said, “The BJP has never held back FDI in technology and defence. Our stand to block FDI is in retail and I believe it is a correct one. The defence of the country is an important one but we should not empty our pockets to ensure it. I think if we can work it out carefully, we can start exporting defence equipment to other nations. Gujarat is working on giving incentives to defence equipment manufacturers and the nation should target other countries to make them buyers.”

Shri Modi was also asked about his views on government control on agriculture. Shri Modi said, “It should not be much. I will give you the example of groundnut oil. Groundnut earns little when it is sold as it is. Gujarat has put the farmer in charge of his sell, thereby making him free to earn his money where he will.”Shri Modi also advocated a consistent Export Policy, “The Indian government still hasn’t been able to explain why it stopped exporting cotton, Export policies needed to be consistent.”

Shri Modi was asked when India can expect better public utilities. Shri Modi said, “The time has come to pay more attention to these by rising above political lines.”

Shri Modi said he wanted debate on common minimum programme and improvement in delivery systems. Furthermore, Shri Modi said, “These days it has become fashionable to call everything a ‘reform’. Fixing the mistakes of the past should not count as reform. True reform is improving infrastructure.”

Additionally, Shri Modi was asked why the youth today were so full of angst. He replied, ”It is because there is no government and no governance. However, as far as youth is concerned, we must start thinking in terms of competing with competitors like China by playing on our strengths. We must play up our democratic values and our cultural heritage.”

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