India's plan to cut red tape gets tangled

Nov 12 2012, 15:55 IST
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SummaryThe dispute underscores the fears of investors and business leaders.

from the environment to defence. The whole process takes up to 24 months.

Now, the NIB faces a similar set of bureaucratic hurdles.

Any decision to take place which has implications for a very large number of ministries, you need to have inter-ministerial discussions and create a consensus, said Arvind Mayaram, economic affairs secretary at the Finance Ministry.

He said a decision could be taken within three weeks.

Government officials said the prime minister's office had asked the Finance Ministry to revise the proposal after failing to broker a compromise between the two ministries.

We are hopeful that it will eventually get resolved. They (the Environment Ministry) seem to have misunderstood the structure, said a Finance Ministry official, declining to be named. They should understand that the interests of the country are far more important than the concerns for their turf.

The Environment Ministry declined to comment.

The turf war between two ministries reinforces a frequent criticism of Singh - that he has poor control over his ministers. Such squabbles in the past forced him to defer important decisions related to the economy and national security.

I hope the same fate does not fall to my proposal for a National investment Board, Chidambaram lamented recently.

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