Mumbai, January 22, 2014

“Economic Governance cannot be seen in isolation and would need to go hand in glove with political governance”, said Dr. Rajiv Lall, Executive Chairman, IDFC Ltd while delivering the 14th CUTS 30th Anniversary Lecture in Mumbai yesterday

While discussing political governance, he opined that India has done remarkably well in so far as democracy, which has thrived over the years. However, economic governance has become challenging in terms of contest between socialist and republic values, adopted after independence as against newly adopted market economy after 1991.

He further discussed three broad areas, such as degree of state intervention, state regulators conduct vis-�-vis the private sector and the lack of independence in their functioning and inter-generational linkage between democracy, economy and policy making.

He concluded by suggesting that there is a need to refurbish the Planning Commission of India so that it becomes a true national level institution, such as the RBI to deal with evolving economic governance challenges. For this to happen, we need a statesman in the country to lead.

Welcoming the guests Mr. Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General, mentioned that CUTS International has now entered its 30th year, and to celebrate the same we are organising series of public lectures, by eminent friends around the world in cities where we are well known, on contemporary issues which are related to our work agenda.

The aim of the lecture series is to address CUTS future interventions to promote inclusive growth from the point of view of their impact on consumer welfare in the light of contemporary policy discourse on trade, regulation and governance. CUTS aims to publish the lectures in a volume and produce a video tape of the same, at the mid-2014.

Dr Siddhartha Roy, Economic Adviser, Tata Group laid emphasis on the importance of regulatory uncertainty and its negative impact on investments in the country. He referred to the example of certain private companies being allowed to to seek higher tariff for their imported coal fired power projects that are under implementation, which was not part of the original contract that was based on a bidding process. Such discrepancies in enforcement of contracts needs to be avoided so as to ensure predictability of policies/rules that are laid down by the Government.

Sucheta Dalal, Managing Editor, Moneylife spoke about the absence of consumer participation in the policy making process. She mentioned that the biggest stakeholders in India are consumers/citizens, which unfortunately are left out from discussions on economic governance.

Pradip Shah, Chairman, IndAsia Fund Advisors emphasised on the importance of efficiency and effectiveness of regulations and public institutions in India. According to him, effectiveness of implementation of law is weak and is one of the key issues that need to be analysed and rectified. Shailesh Vaidya, President, IMC Managing Committee also spoke at the event, which was attended by over 50 participants in the hall.

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