The Modi government is struggling to make babus toe the line, when it comes to mandatory filing of property details.
The government has recently moved to cut the number of members of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from seven to four, including the chairperson. It may seem like “downsizing” but the government insists that it is ‘rightsizing’. The reduced size, it argues, approximates the size of competition regulators in countries like UK, the United States, Australia and Japan.
The ministry of corporate affairs insists that the step will reduce government interference in the working of the CCI, stimulate business process of corporates and generate job opportunities by speeding up hearings and approvals.
The clincher apparently is that four members will expedite CCI’s work while adhering to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maxim of “maximum governance, minimum government”.
But observers are sceptical that simply reducing the number of members to four will serve the cause of efficiency that the government is hoping to achieve.
Former CCI member S.L. Bunker said that the decision fails to “properly appreciate” the nature and functioning of the antitrust regulator.
The CCI deals with competition laws and economic laws and decisions need to be made based on data and market situations, he said, adding that more members makes CCI “more resilient and gives it a strong outcome”.
The Modi government is struggling to make babus toe the line, when it comes to mandatory filing of property details. It turns out that more than 500 IPS officers, including DGPs and IGPs, have not yet filed their property details for 2016.
According to the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, all Indian Police Service officers are required to file their Immovable Property Return (IPR) in a prescribed format by January 31 every year.
However, sources say, through March 31, 2017, only 3,390 IPS officers had filed the IPR, out of the total cadre strength of 3,905 IPS officers. This has made the Union home ministry, the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers, direct all state governments and Union Territory administrations to seek explanations from all the IPS officers who have not filed their IPR.
If erring officials persist with their defiance, the ministry may have no choice but to take action against them. This could include denial of promotion and vigilance clearance.