Treating the symptoms
The Centre’s decision to alter the selection process of CMDs and EDs of public sector banks, though welcome, may not address the core of the problem. Banks’ primary business is in lending. And that needs informed discretion and application of independent judgment. This would call for integrity, both in its system and its managers. Over time, the government as owner of PSU banks, has managed to dilute both. It is not enough that these banks are given some degree of freedom in the selection of its CMD/ED. After all, the top man cannot be expected to single-handedly counter the shortfalls in a strait-jacketed system that makes up the entire public sector banking, or for that matter every PSU. One very significant area that has remained unaddressed is the employed manpower. This was needing to be optimised for a long time but attempts to do so were always cosmetic. A compact manning, besides sharply pulling up productivity would enhance accountability, of paramount importance in financial dealings.
After nearly nine months of dither, all parties have decided to go back to the people, for a majority in Delhi’s 70-member House. In the polls held last December, no party won a decisive majority: the BJP won the largest number of seats, but Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), won 28 seats on its debut and formed the government with the support of the Congress. Probably dazzled by this victory, Kejriwal aspired to national supremacy and quit office in February, after only 49 days in charge as chief minister, to campaign for the Lok Sabha. In the months since then, there have been charges of horse trading, bribery and so on, as the Delhi BJP tried to cobble a government together. But surprisingly, the volatile AAP and the depleted Congress largely held their flock together. The decision to hold polls is welcome. They must be held at the earliest, along with those in Jharkhand. With the President’s assent to elections in Delhi, the Election Commission can dispense with its order to hold by-elections in three assembly seats that fell vacant when their occupants successfully fought Lok Sabha polls earlier this year. From November last year, when assembly polls were announced till today, Delhi has descended into chaos: constantly in election-mode since then. Now, hold elections.
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