You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Subramanian, Sitharaman differ on ‘maturity’ of regulatory institutions

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-03-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Regulators in India are yet to attain maturity and remain “work in progress”, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said on Thursday, 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 during the conference.

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.

ALSO READ: Looking beyond the idea of a bad bank

“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.

“I don’t see a conflict of opinion between the two of us... we need a Competition Commission which is going to respond with more nuanced positions,” the minister said. They also seemed to be on different pages with respect to learning from privatisation that led to oligarchy in Russia and China.

“For a long time we were enamoured with privatisation to make way for competition but I think certainly the experience of countries around the world, especially Russia, taught us that privatisation per se is not a solution to competition,” Subramanian said.

While acknowledging that the routes taken by China and Russia led to oligarchy in those countries, however, the minister said making them a “point of comparison” with India does not fair well at all.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon