Minimum government, maximum governance

Issue 12 - Mar 2008

Mukul G Asher

A major consequence of the governance crisis has been that the average Indian household’s budget outlays are not being translated into commensurate welfare gains, while adversely impacting the State’s legitimacy.

Gujarat has consciously embarked on being an exception by achieving a better balance between private goods on one hand and government services, including internal security, on the other. As a result, for comparable incomes, welfare levels of households in Gujarat can be expected to be higher than the all-India average; which has increased the legitimacy of the State. Yet there is lack of curiosity on part of the media, think-tanks, self-styled experts and policy makers across the country to analyse Gujarat’s socio-economic policies, its governance characteristics, and to draw possible lessons. There is much in the Gujarat model of governance that can be applied across India, albeit to suit the particular context and conditions.

The essence of the Gujarat model of governance comprises of three Cs—Competence, Corruption-aversion, and Consistency, and two Ps—Performance-orientation and Public-private partnership management skills.

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