Monday, May 27, 2013

why bussiness corporations should stop poking nose in policy matters?

BPAC  claims that its one of the organizations which is striving for good quality life for the people of Bengaluru. Its latest demands from one of the member of BPAC is as follows :

Bangalore’s problems are a complex tangle of issues with various civic and utility bodies and their overlapping agendas often working at cross purposes. The result is that in the past few years the city has slid into a  morass of neglect and no one knows who is responsible for what.

Ok, looks like we have a problem and we do know about it. This is a problem of Urban Management and what’s the need for that according to BPAC?

 A quick and efficacious way forward would be the appointment of a Ministry for Bangalore with the  mandate to co-ordinate and hold the various civic agencies accountable for implementation of key projects that can stop and reverse the decline of this formerly beautiful, buzzing economic engine of Karnataka and India.

There is a difference between governance and management. A new governing body doesnt translate into effective management. In our case, it adds up one more layer of bureaucracy on top of already bloated bureaucratic arms of this city.

Functional responsibilities for service provision can be obtained by adopting good responsive urban management schemes. The 13th Finance Commission has recommended that strengthening municipal finances and urban governance in India is need of the hour. It has recommended that grants to be divided into 2 parts, basic and performance. The performance grants are given if and only if the State government, implements the reforms recommended by the commission.
There are also some more recommendations which would indirectly benefit the party at central government since it wants local bodies to be more empowered and bypass the state government in certain aspects.
Fiscal federalism is the need of the hour but not at the cost of state government. Also, it’s not correct on the part of the central government efforts to make the 2nd tier redundant and empower the 3rd tier completely.

Before I jump into other parts, BPAC has been actively advocating most of revenue of Bengaluru should be spent for Bengaluru. If Bengaluru wants to become greedy and doesnt want to share its cake with other poorer cousins, then we might be forced to pay for water which we use, pay more hefty charges for waste disposal and so on. So, before someone starts thinking in that line ; let them realise that Bengaluru is earning because of collective efforts of the people of this state and not just by the people of Bengaluru. 
Let’s leave the finance, budgeting related aspects aside for a moment. 
There are four components of urban population growth - natural increase or organic growth, rural to urban migration, reclassification, and boundary changes of the existing urban centers.
Projections indicate that by 2030 that India’s urban population will be 575 million constituting over 40% of total population.  India’s Urban Awakening (2010) a McKinsey report projected that by 2030 five states viz., Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu will have more than 50% urban population and 13 cities will have more than 4 million population each. Six cities viz., Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune will have more than ten million population each.
So, Bengaluru is having lot of migration from other states which has contributed to increase in population and stress on infrastructure. Instead of building the cities and extending the boundaries, BPAC should work with government to build more secondary/ tier- II or III cities which ease the burden on Bengaluru. 

What does BPAC expect as first task?

As a first step, the Minister needs to  take up the KIG Infrastructure report and start implementing it without any delay. To ensure  that  this implementation and other developmental issues of Bangalore are being dealt with in a planned, transparent and timely way, the Minister and the Chief Minister should be advised by a Bangalore Vision Group  headed by  the likes of eminent and respected citizens like  Infosys Chairman Emeritus NR Narayana Murthy. The CM and the Bangalore Vision group must receive a quarterly report from the Minister for Bangalore and review progress on a quarterly basis.

What does KIG report talk about?
Image source :
There are 2 aspects of this report. It’s prepared under the chairmanship of Shri TV Mohandas Pai. With due respects to the gentleman, I would like to know why do every ex-Infoscian have to instruct and guide the government in policy matters right from building of airport till the night life timings?
Even if we consider them to be public policy making and formulation experts, why are these private/quasi government agencies trying to manipulate their way into government policy matters?
When agencies likes BPAC is advocating so much on local governance, do you see any of these terms talking about local talent pool development, local jobs creations?
Also, why should government of Karnataka give a report to these business men (Narayana Murthy, Mohan Das Pai and so on) on such issues? Is an elected body accountable to these set of people or the people who elected them? 
Why are these corporations so much interested and trying to dictate politicians on what needs to be done and whats not? Is it going too long , then watch this video.. even though, its context is based in USA.. Its relevant very much here too. 

Its time to take our democracy back from these corporations and corporate citizens!! 

I will talk about the 11 recommendations in follow post.  Italics text can be found in full @

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