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CEA, Nirmala differ on 'maturity' of regulatory institutions

Friday, March 03, 2017

Regulators in India are yet to attain maturity and remain "work in progress", Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said yesterday, prompting Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to assert that these institutions are rather striving to be dynamic. The differing views came into the open at a conference on economics of competition law where both of them addressed the gathering.

"I think regulatory institutions in India are still a work in progress. I do not think that we have attained the kind of maturity in our regulatory institutions that we need to and let's be honest about that," he said. Speaking after him, Sitharaman differed with his views saying institutions like Competition Commission of India (CCI) are striving to be dynamic.

"CCI is still work in progress, if Arvind Subramanian has to say that, I would think it is not work in progress. I think CCI is striving to be a dynamic institution so that its response is literally in real time to the requirements of the Indian economy," the Commerce Minister said. "I wouldn't think it is a work in progress but it has to continue to be a dynamic institution rather than be fixated about from a point to a point today where are we... It has to be buoyant, it has to keep moving," she said.

Subramanian was not present when the Minister spoke. When asked whether both of them were on different pages, Sitharaman sought to downplay the apparent differences and said she was trying to put into context that the country's transition was rather protracted.

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