Lobbying on for advisory team, but Modi takes time
Even after intense pressure from various corporate lobbyists to push their agents into the prime minister’s advisory circles, Narendra Modi has made it clear that only integrity and efficiency would be considered while choosing his counselors. Sources said the PM himself will be involved in doing background checks of every possible candidate and all the recommended names will have to go through a rigorous verification process by the intelligence bureau.
Lobbying for the key posts, however, intensified after it was made known that the PM wants to appoint important technocrats as advisors on a number of important subjects like power, oil and gas, infrastructure, railways and social sectors.The recent power crisis in various states has raised an alarm in the PMO forcing it to speed up the process of appointing a suitable prime ministerial advisor on the issue.
The power sector needs immediate attention since it is managed by three kinds of players – central PSUs, state PSUs and private sector companies. The private sector companies at present have around 28 per cent generation capacity, but their ‘profiteering motives’ have created a huge mess, since the growing cost of generating power has taken a toll on the common man, with sky-rocketing electricity bills adding to his miseries. Moreover, the central PSUs also need more empowerment, with better management and efficiency in key segments.
A number of former experts, backed by various corporate private groups, are pushing for their names to be included in the PM’s hallowed advisory council. One of them is former power secretary RV Shahi, who is currently on the board of a few private sector companies. The PM, however, insists his appointed advisors should focus more on public interest and not work for private profit.