In my last column I wrote about the government trespassing on the autonomy of other institutions. This week I am writing about incursions in the public sector.
In his biography of PN Haksar, Jairam Ramesh says the civil servant who was so influential, so close to Indira Gandhi that he was described as her alter ego, was a prime mover in the “high noon” of nationalisation, 1972.
But only two years later, Haksar angrily denounced the way the public sector was being managed and, in particular, condemned the interference by politicians and civil servants in the management of public sector companies saying, “remote control from the secretariat in New Delhi is exercised by men, both politicians and civil servants, who have no knowledge, and even less experience of running enterprises of any sort, unless self-advancement could legitimately be called an enterprise”. Read More