NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant on Wednesday exhorted that there was no shortage of money in India but service delivery mechanisms were failing the country. Kant came out with a solution to the problem. He said,"Start naming and shaming places that do not work. Tell people that these are districts failing the country. That these states, the political leadership and the administrative bureaucracy is failing us in these states.”
The NITI Aayog CEO was speaking at the ‘Accelerating Growth & Development in the SDG era’ organised by Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation. Kant’s diatribe wasn’t just restricted to bureaucrats. He also suggested that various regulatory bodies in India were hurting the country. Kant said, "Regulators in India have made a mess and there's nobody to regulate the regulators. Most of these regulators are either retired engineers or retired officials. Don’t think that regulators are gods.”
Kant’s statement is a reiteration of NITI Aayog’s proposed three-year reform plan albeit in stronger words. The plan suggesting reform of India’s civil service had stated, “Sustained high levels of performance can only be achieved if performance is objectively measured with high performance rewarded and poor performance reprimanded.”
The three-year plan had also called for private sector public policy specialists to be laterally inducted into the government. The NITI Aayog in its draft plan had suggested setting outcome based goals for different ministries and governments to be achieved within the set deadlines. The draft had also called for reducing “dependence on government administrative machinery wherever possible.”
Kant said that NITI Aayog was an example of this change in India’s bureaucracy with a lot of young people in the 35-38 years age group working in the organisation.