Published On: Tue, Oct 27th, 2015

Jayant Sinha flays officials for lacking corporates’ execution mindset

Mumbai: The “absence of an execution mindset” among government officials is a big challenge in getting the reforms bandwagon rolling, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today even as he dismissed critics as ‘sound-byte warriors’.

Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha

Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha

While Sinha did not name anyone in particular, his comments came a day after the BJP leader and former union minister Arun Shourie accused the Modi government of “managing only headlines” in the name of managing the economy.

Asserting that implementing big-ticket reforms remains the top priority of government, Sinha said, “Our initiatives are well in hand. We understand what we have to do and we understand our priorities.

“Our focus right now is on execution, implementation and making things happen.”

Speaking here at a Morningstar conference, Sinha also appeared sceptical about the task at hand due to the lack of an “execution mindset” within the government in comparison to the robustness in the private sector where he spent over three decades.

“At the government right now, we don’t have enough of an execution mindset. In the private sector, there are targets, milestones, who is responsible for what etc. But there isn’t enough of that in the government,” Sinha rued.

“Execution is not easy, the government is not easy. I have spent 30 years in the private sector, it is easy. The government is hard because you have to work with many stakeholders,” said Sinha, who has himself been an investment banker before joining the government last year.

He, however, added that when the government manages to get into a “mission mode” it can create miracles, and cited the work done in the account opening under the Jan Dhan Scheme as one such instance.

“We have to get more into mission mode and that is something that is not common. We have to build that actionable mindset,” he said.

When asked about differences between his government and the previous ones on this front, Sinha said there is a move to do away with the multiple group of ministers, empowering the bureaucracy, programmes like the PM’s ‘Pragati’ initiative to monitor project progress as some of the key changes.

The comments come at a time when the critics are blaming the government for doing only mega announcements with little action on the ground.

Shourie, who was a minister in the previous NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had yesterday said that the present government was no different from the UPA regime in terms of policies.

Advising all to desist from taking critics seriously, Sinha said, “Don’t get too carried away with what you read in the press, saying the government is not doing enough. That’s absolutely incorrect.

“Those ‘sound-byte warriors’ don’t take the time to understand what is being actually done.”

On the soon to be set monetary policy committee, Sinha said the decision to set an inflation targeting to the RBI, which will be primary remit of the central bank, as “historic”.

PTI

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