Expediting public services and ensuring fairness in procurement will supplement rapid economic growth in the South Asian region including India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. The pick and choose system in public procurement, he warned, leads to unfairness and serious allegations of corruption and nepotism. Speaking at the South Asia Region Procurement Conference here, Jaitley said: “Countries across the world, and we in India, have have seen this evolve administratively within the governments and jurisprudentially when it came to matters of procurement. “When it came to matter of awarding largesse, contract, public private partnership itself, there had to be procedural fairness that state had to follow.”
Procedural fairness would always ensure that it could eliminate all elements of nepotism, favouritism and ensure transparency, he added. “This is the region (South Asia) where the fastest growth in the world is taking place and therefore this is the region where delivery of public services in the years to come really has to be expedited and this subject would be of key importance in this region itself,” Jaitley said.
The society has increasingly moved towards absence of any form of flexibility with regard to public procurement, he said. “And therefore each state now have formulated its own sets of regulation, and its own sets of rules as to how procurements are to take place,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Expenditure Secretary A N Jha said that currently, average clearing of due against public procurement is 7 days. “We hope to reduce this average further in the future,” he said.