Admitting that corruption is the “biggest issue” that is “bleeding people dry”, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday sought to reach out to India Inc by saying that “arbitrary powers” were holding up projects. Interacting with business leaders and responding to their concerns, the Congress vice-president favoured a rule-based system in clearances to correct the situation.
Gandhi talked about the problems of inflation, clearances, accountability and transparency while underlining the need for pushing growth to alleviate poverty and making the country the largest economy.
“I am in complete agreement with the need for regulatory system to be rapidly and radically modernised. Frankly, there are no excuses for the length of time required to clear some of these projects. We are a fast-moving economy. We cannot allow you to be held back by slow decision-making. Accountability has to be clear, fixed and time-bound,” he said, addressing the Ficci annual general meeting.
“The biggest problem is absolute arbitrary powers at all levels of the system. This is what we face. In India, there are lot of arbitrary powers. The environment minister or the chief minister can take any decision he wants,” he said, responding to concerns of the industry that clearances were holding up projects. “The real issue in all these things, whether land acquisition or environment, is arbitrary power,” Gandhi said.
He said that the UPA government is considering a natural resource investment special purpose vehicle. "The idea is to obtain all clearances before auctioning projects to private players," Gandhi said.