Enough is enough, have to reform: Premji on governance deficit

Noted industrialist Azim Premji, who was Tuesday named for the Padma Vibhushan this year, Wednesday said he is "extremely disappointed" about the performance of the government at the centre.

Davos: Noted industrialist Azim Premji, who was Tuesday named for the Padma Vibhushan this year, Wednesday said he is "extremely disappointed" about the performance of the government at the centre.

Wipro chairman Premji, who along with a number of eminent personalities had recently written an open letter on a "governance deficit", said they would focus on the "complete breakdown in public governance across the board".

"I am extremely disappointed. I think it is a national calamity and is personally very devastating because one had so much confidence when they (UPA-II) came in," he told television channels when asked whether the present government was "unable to deliver".

"But I think, it has reached a point of catharsis. And when something reaches a point of catharsis, there seems to be no alternative but to change. I am optimistic...," he said.

He said the group (of eminent personalties) would follow up the matter with "fairly concrete" action recommendations as to what can lift the level of governance and make it more focused.

"We think it is important. We focus attention on the complete breakdown in public governance across the board, whether it be government, or businessmen, or traders...," he said.

"One has reached a point in public governance where one has to take stock... Enough is enough, we have to reform ourselves. If we don`t do that, we are not going to leave children behind us proud of the country, despite 8-9 percent (economic) growth."

Recently, a group of prominent personalities, including Premji, Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Keshub Mahindra, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, former RBI governors M Narasimham and Bimal Jalan, among others, had expressed concern over a series of scams that pointed toward a "governance deficit".

In the letter, they had asked the government to deal with burning issues like corruption urgently.

"We will make concrete recommendations to the government and we will pursue them with tenaciousness...," Premji said.

On the award, he said: "I am quite honoured. It is a prestigious award. I am humbled to receive it.”

He said the signatories to the open letter have identified a few steps that can result in the highest standards of governance.

Citing the example of "sacrosanct" regulatory bodies like SEBI and the RBI, Premji asked, "Why can not we make something like that in environment? A regulatory organisation separate from Minister or Secretary?"

He, however, said they did not get any response from the Indian government on the open letter.

PTI

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