India’s economic, political systems yet to mature, says Arvind Subramanian

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New Delhi | March 02, 2017 3:34 PM

Economic and political systems in India have "not developed maturity" for nuanced interventions and tend to take recourse to bans and restrictions, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said today.

Arvind Subramanian, Supreme Court, CCI, Economic, PoliticalVoicing concerns that judiciary has acquired more authority than legislators, he said the society has become highly litigious and vouched for independent regulatory institutions that are free from political interference.(Reuters)

Economic and political systems in India have “not developed maturity” for nuanced interventions and tend to take recourse to bans and restrictions, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said today. Voicing concerns that judiciary has acquired more authority than legislators, he said the society has become highly litigious and vouched for independent regulatory institutions that are free from political interference.

“I think regulatory institutions in India are still a work in progress. I do not think that we have attained the kind of maturity in our regulatory institutions that we need to and let’s be honest about that,” he said here at a function.

Subramanian made a case for building capacity at various institutions.

“Our economic and political system has still not developed the maturity to have finely calibrated interventions for problems.

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“We have recourse to blunt instruments, bans, restrictions etc. In the areas of competition policy, I think we need to have…nuanced intervention wherever problem arise,” he said.

He admitted however that it may not be easy to do things.

“So capacity (creation) is important, using calibrated as compared to blunt instrument is very important…(and) of course all regulatory institutions should be independent and free from political interference,” Subramanian said.

“Anything happens and it goes to litigation and appeal. So we have become a highly litigious socitey… Everything is going to appeal and courts… The judiciary and the judicial type bodies have acquired much more authority and power than the legislators…,” he said.

In such scenario, he added, there is a need to find ways to expedite the process of taking and implementing decisions.

“There is this feeling that finally everything has to be adjudicated by the courts and the Supreme Court in particular. So, we are kind of getting a funnelling of decision making and its getting getting jammed and blocked,” he said.

“So how do we make our country less litigious and how do we expedite things. I think, these are the challenges for all regulatory institutions and also for the CCI,” he added.

He also said that exit for businesses is also very difficult in the country as their bad loans have to be written off, and companies have to be failed for that.

Civil aviation and public sector banks are few of the areas where “exit, exit, exit is a problem”, he said, adding that for this the bankruptcy law is going to be important.

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