Executives of top companies that are rewriting the India-growth story are a worried lot. They feel that there is a “governance deficit” in India and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needs to deal with issues more firmly. These are findings of a survey of carried out by Hindustan Times and market research agency Synovate.
Almost nine out of 10 executives surveyed felt there was a “governance deficit” in India, while three out of five want the Prime Minister to take tough decisions to deal with corruption charges rocking the government.
“This is a grave situation to be in,” the survey concluded. “More so, since India is poised for growth and poor governance can be a spanner in its wheels.”
The survey was carried out among 182 top executives in diverse sectors — from information technology, telecommunications and automotive to energy, power and advertising agencies — across the eight cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad.
The survey results corroborate fears expressed by a group of prominent personalities, including industrialists Azim Premji of Wipro, Deepak Parekh of HDFC and Bimal Jalan (former RBI governor) over a series of scams leading to “governance deficit”.
The last year saw five mega scams hitting the nation — IPL (Indian Premier League), Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing Society, 2G spectrum and housing loans. “We are alarmed at the widespread governance deficit almost in every sphere of national activity, covering government, business and institutions,” the 14-member group that included industrialist Anu Aga and former banker N Vaghul said, in a January 17 ‘Open Letter to our Leaders’."Widespread discretionary decision-making has been routinely subjected to extraneous influences," the letter stated. As a result, the government is in a state of policy freeze, a fact that three out of five executives felt.
“It is not about the number of decisions per se,” Bimal Jalan told Hindustan Times. “Take inflation. We have been told for several months that it will come down but hasn’t. Then we were told that the government is not responsible for inflation. So, it is difficult to find out which is the cause and which is the effect.”