What ails PPP in e-governance?

Today: Dinesh Tyagi of IL&FS

GN Bureau | February 17, 2010

The government's failure in realizing Private Public Partnership (PPPs) is because of its own structural set up. It doesn't have  adearth of schemes but implementation of the projects requires active cooperation between several departments. The bureaucracy is huge and a person has to deal with layers of officials which make it difficult to properly inject the programme. Some of the schemes are designed, developed and conceived very well. But they fail in implementation. So you need private sector skills to manage the project. There is a need to look into further private sector intervention as it is more flexible and innovative.

In all PPP projects you need targeted advocacy which is a missing component at present. I think government does not have skills to network. They issue advertisements but they will mess it when it comes to actively advocating the project. You need private sector for advocacy.

PPP essentially implies sharing of risks and rewards of a venture. There are high risks involved with the projects. In fact, government should encourage private groups to take risks. The people who are implementing the projects are in fact the ones messing it up.

The PPP is either centrally or state funded schemes as there is hardly any resource generation at the local level. So, there is a need to look into private sector, which can work in collaboration with the government bodies.  

But the good thing which has emerged in recent years is that government is willing to listen which was not happening a decade ago. At the bureaucratic or at political level the government is willing to listen.

After the independence, India abolished the Zamindari system but the government officials have become new-age zamindars. Due to their overwhelming presence at every level of government structures, many mega projects do not yield desired results because they create stumbling block.    

But despite many bottlenecks, I would praise government’s work in some states like Gujarat and Bihar. Gujarat set an example how government schemes can work by becoming the first state to impart training to every officials from higher to lower. Training is very important in a layout of projects.  

Bihar is another good example of dealing with projects. There are 45 projects running in Bihar.

There is need for imparting e-literacy of one person in a family which would not cost much. This will take India forward as these innovations are bound to bring about changes in the economic, political and socio-cultural lives of those affected.



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