Sunday, December 12, 2004

"Our civil service was designed to rule a colony"

Indian Express reports on a speech given by a junior minister named Prithviraj Chavan yesterday, calling for major reforms in India's government bureaucracy.

The best line quoted is the title of this post. (True, all too true.)

But the specific government reforms being proposed are good ones too:

Political and electoral reforms so that political parties become more transparent about their funding. Elections, the Minister said, were funded in such a way that this not only bred corruption but bred a parallel economy. In the areas of police and judicial reform the Minister said there would be no more police commissions but implementation of the many reports that have gathered dust for years.

On judicial reform he admitted that it takes ‘‘forever to punish anybody’’ and irrelevant laws made a hundred years ago are still being implemented. The Minister went on to talk about reforms in economic governance, meaning more regulatory bodies rather than controls, and the restoration of the fundamental right to property.

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