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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Political Capital- Modi's A-Team: Arun Shourie




 May 15, 2014
The other name that has been discussed as a potential Finance Minister, if Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister, is that of Arun Shourie.

While Shourie did not contest the Lok Sabha polls this year, he is known to be someone who Modi relies on for inputs on economic policy. Shourie told Vivek Law in September that he found the UPA's strategy to combat inflation and the fiscal situation deeply flawed.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Karan Thapar- Arun Shourie Interview 19/42014 : Video


Arun Shourie 19/42014 HEAD LINES TODAY INTERVIEW

Modi Cabinet: Jaitley, Shourie top contenders for Finance Ministry



 May 20, 2014
Jockeying for key posts in Team Narendra Modi has intensified as the swearing-in ceremony will take place on Monday, May 26. Sources have now told CNN-IBN that Arun Jaitley and Arun Shourie are the top two contenders for the Finance Ministry.

Arun Jaitley has the upper hand even after his defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, say sources. This as Arun Shourie has been out of the political picture for a while.

Modi likely to cut the Cabinet to half of its present size: Arun Shourie

New Delhi: Journalist-politician Arun Shourie, who is likely to get an important role in the Narendra Modi government, has said that as of now no one knows who will get which portfolio except the Prime Minister-designate.
He also downplayed speculations that he met BJP chief Rajnath Singh in Delhi to discuss the role he might be given in the NDA government.
In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Shourie revealed that Modi will most likely downsize the government and the Cabinet could be cut to half its present size.
Here is the full transcript of the interview:
Rajdeep Sardesai: Are you joining the Narendra Modi government?
Arun Shourie: I frankly don't know and I can assure you as of now no one knows except Modi.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Can I tell you why these speculations has grown. (A) You have gone and met Rajnath Singh and (B) you are back in Delhi and you are spending so much time in Delhi that people are wondering is Arun Shourie back in the corridors of power and is he becoming a minister?
Arun Shourie: Let me take these two points. I was called by Shudhansu Trivedi, a good friend of mine and associate of Rajnath Singh, and he asked me to come and meet Rajnath Singh. I came and met him over a general chit chat.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Nothing to do with government formations?
Arun Shourie: Nothing at all.
Rajdeep Sardesai: The other reason is you are the adviser to Narendra Modi, he has high regards for you.
Arun Shourie: Well that you will know, I will not know.
Rajdeep Sardesai: If Narendra Modi offers you finance ministry, you will not take?
Arun Shourie: I will not answer that question. How can you just build castle in and then decline to owe it?
Rajdeep Sardesai: My final point is that we should not make headline that the battle of finance battle is between two Aruns, Arun Jaitely and Arun Shourie.
Arun Shourie: Yes, absolutely.
Rajdeep Sardesai: What I have seen is a mantra that you have been voicing and interestingly Mr Modi voices - less government and more governance. What does that really mean? As we are reaching to the cabinet formation, you were part of Vajpayee's government of about 80 ministers, ditto with Manmohan Singh. Do we need a leaner smaller downsized government with more focused areas?
Arun Shourie: I think Mr Modi is really keen on that, the first idea is to just collapse ministries. Have higher tier of a ministry for say energy ministry, all the energy, coal, mining other than these atomic energy you can take all the power type of electricity related, one conventional ministry, leave them under Ministers of State and one Cabinet Minister rather then seven. This is one example, similarly in transport.
Rajdeep Sardesai: So you will bring road and railways and all transport ministries under one umbrella?
Arun Shourie: Railway is too big, but we can bring other transports under one umbrella to an extent to which a coordination is required. Sometime there is not that much is required in road and air but in road and railways yes. But the most creative idea in downsizing the cabinet actually came from TV18's Raghav Bahl, he gave a good idea. Just as in banking sector as Naik committee has observed that all bank should be put under a holding company. Raghav Bahl's good idea is to take all the PSU out of all ministries and put them under a holding company. Even under the existing system you will have a situation where you will have an asset of three to four billion dollar to start with, as currently valued. His estimate is that anything you want to raise from 500 billion dollar to trillion dollar in next five years, you can raise and use it for infrastructure and at the same time downsize the government.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Exclusive Interview: Arun Shourie On Narendra Modi's Economic Agenda



Mar 24, 2014
In an exclusive interview with ET Now, Arun Shourie, NDA's divestment minister has ruled out big ticket privatisation that the markets are betting on if Narendra Modi comes to power. Shourie, who many believe may be the next Finance Minister, also spells out broad economic agenda of Narendra Modi and how NaMo's focus will be to implement and not ideate too much on economic policy. Hear Arun Shourie talk politics, economics and 'Modinomics'

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arun Shourie Slams Website Reports of Money Being Paid for Ministry

Source NDTV 

http://m.ndtv.com/elections/article/election-2014/arun-shourie-slams-website-reports-of-money-being-paid-for-ministry-529212

New Delhi: Journalist-politician Arun Shourie, who is being tipped to get an important role in the Narendra Modi government, finds himself at the centre of a vicious vilification campaign.

A website politicsparty.com has come out with the insinuation that a businessman had paid a hefty amount of Rs 100 crore to BJP president Rajnath Singh to ensure Mr Shourie landed up with a plum portfolio. The website advocates a brand new cabinet with no baggage from the Vajpayee era, which is why they advise Mr Modi to dump people like Mr Shourie. 

Mr Shourie, 72, had handled portfolios as diverse as disinvestment and telecommunication during the government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Mr Modi, who takes over the country's reins on May 26, holds the former union minister in high esteem, and is said to have sounded him out for a role in his government. (For PM-to-be Narendra Modi, 20-Minute Presentations from 84 Departments)

"It is such a ridiculous allegation," Mr Shourie told NDTV, adding, "If I had 100 crores, why would I give it to Rajnath Singh?"

What set off the speculation about Mr Shourie's likely induction in the Union Cabinet was a meeting he had with the BJP president earlier this week. "That meeting was not a secret one, it was at 4:30 pm and we discussed election related things," the former union minister said. 

The Magsaysay Award winner says he has no clue about who all are being considered for ministerial slots. "I have no idea who is being considered, neither does anyone else," Mr Shourie said, refusing to even comment on whether he will consider a Cabinet post if it is offered to him.  

The final list of those who make it may only be released on Sunday, the day before the swearing-in ceremony.

Arun Shourie - Barkha Dutt interview

Arun Shourie's comment on tax administration - May 20, 2014 on NDTV


Muslims have nothing to fear from Modi, says Arun Shourie



 May 6, 2014
Former National Democratic Alliance minister Arun Shourie has said Muslim fears about BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are being deliberately stoked by some people. Speaking to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose, Shourie said that secularism has become a word which is being used by parties for political gains.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RSS must keep a hawk's eye on the government: Arun Shourie

BJP leader Arun Shourie, former minister of the NDA government is rumoured to once agian gain a prime position in Narendra Modi's cabinet. 
In a recent interview with NDTV, he spoke about the priorities and challenges of the new government that will be led by Narendra Modi. He denied rumours of being offered the post of finance minister, and said, "No one but Modi knows that and he will not fail to surprise."
In the interview, he elaborated on the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the formation of the cabinet. There has been some speculation of hindu organistion's influence over the new government.  
He said, "Modi will want to succeed as a builder of modern India, not distracted by anybody The RSS inputs shall be taken at face value. Their role will be in providing general suggestions."
Defending his stand, he added, "No social group will have as much influence on policies as the government, so its best to leave it upto the government."
He goes on to say that, the RSS should take on the role of being a watchdog, to check the conduct of individuals. “RSS must keep a hawk's eye on the conduct of ministers and MLA's.”
He said RSS should be an external body meant to keep the government in line, rather than interfering in policy making.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Modi can use Article 254 to push state-level reforms: Shourie

           Everyone is reading Article 254(1) of the Constitution ... But 254(2) allows the state legislation to prevail provided the President gives his assent — that just means a Modi government has to be in favour of it Arun Shourie
Shourie says of Modi while outlining what a CM-PM partnership could possibly mean.

Whether it is changes in labour laws, or the restrictive Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, or several others, the standard argument against reform is that, since the laws are on the Concurrent List, states cannot change them till the Centre does. And that, in a fractured Parliament, isn’t going to happen.
Not true, says former NDA telecom minister Arun Shourie, and points out that, should he wish, a Narendra Modi — were he to become Prime Minister —can bring about genuine federalism and allow the more progressive states to change their laws.
In the case of industrial disputes, says Shourie, the argument is that till the Centre raises the ceiling — firms with more than 100 workers require government permission to fire workers or shut down — the states can’t follow suit. “Everyone is reading Article 254(1) of the Constitution … But 254(2) allows the state legislation to prevail provided the President gives his assent — that just means a Modi government has to be in favour of it”.
Why should a Modi wait to try and change the Central law — the electoral arithmetic in the Rajya Sabha won’t allow him to — asks Shourie, he should simply allow a Maharashtra or an Andhra Pradesh to propose a changed law for themselves and get the President to give his assent.
“A few states will start, the rest can follow later”, says Shourie, while pointing out that a Modi prime ministership will focus on raising India’s Doing Business ranking. “Your complaint”, Shourie says of Modi while outlining what a CM-PM partnership could possibly mean, “was that the Centre did not clear several of your laws, don’t let that happen to others”. “Just say that any state which will come up with a provision, a law, that makes it easier for India to compete with South East Asia … that law will be allowed to be passed by the Centre.”
While outlining other possible agenda items for Modi, Shourie says, apart from appointing ministers of impeccable integrity (“many tough decisions are needed … you don’t want people casting aspersions”), Modi has to select all important secretaries to the government himself — “Manmohan Singh allowed the ministers to choose their secretaries, and they remained beholden to their ministers, many of whom were governments in themselves”. To being with, get these secretaries, Shourie says, to give you a list of things that can be done without needing to go to Parliament.
“You complain that PSUs or PSU banks are badly run because the directors on board don’t do a good job … Where does Parliament come into that? The Railways are not building a few hundred km of track to help evacuate coal … where does Parliament come into that?”, Shourie asks with a flourish.

Friday, May 2, 2014

SC has rejected charges already, Shourie tells CBI

The disinvestment procedures were elaborate, and scrupulously adhered to, he said. Every step was explained through press statements.
As a two-member CBI team visited former disinvestment minister Arun Shourie in connection with its preliminary enquiry into the alleged irregularities in the divestment of Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) during the NDA regime, Shourie laid out the facts of the case before the agency, underscoring that the charges it was probing had been rejected in toto by the Supreme Court as recently as December 2012.
Shourie is learnt to have told the CBI that the recommendation to disinvest 25 per cent was raised to 26 per cent because under company law, an investor acquires an important say in a company’s management only if he has at least 26 per cent equity.
He is believed to have stressed that the entire process had been transparent, and that Attorney General G E Vahanvati had, before the CBI reopened the decade-old matter, opined that there was no case for challenging the decision.
Shourie apparently reminded the officials that the decision had not been questioned at the time, not even by MPs most vociferously opposed to privatisation.
He explained to them that every decision was taken after it had been considered by the inter-ministerial group in which all concerned ministries — in particular the administrative ministry which was, in this case, Mines — were represented; the core group on disinvestment headed by the cabinet secretary; and a separate valuation committee comprising two members from the Ministry of Mines, and the CMD of the company.
“Every proposal was referred to, and the decision was taken by, the Cabinet Committee on Disinvestment presided over by the PM, and the role of the Ministry of Disinvestment was that of a facilitator,” he is learnt to have said.
The disinvestment procedures were elaborate, and scrupulously adhered to, he said. Every step was explained through press statements.
On the queries related to the Supreme Court judgment on the disinvestment of HPCL and BPCL, Shourie is believed to have said that the judgment had no relevance to the HZL case. It was delivered in September 2003, after the disinvestment of HZL (April 2002), and the court did not say that it would have retrospective effect.
The CBI officers also recorded the statement of Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal. The agency had last year registered a PE against Agarwal and unknown officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the disinvestment of HZL. The agency believes that the loss to the exchequer due to the alleged irregularities runs into hundreds of crores of rupees.

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