ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI- Exit Experts, Enter Courtiers

Exit Experts, Enter Courtiers THE dissolution of the highly advertised and applauded overall policy planning committee headed by G Parthasarathy within less than a year of its constitution has attracted considerable attention. It could not have been prompted merely by the resignation of Parthasarathy on 'health grounds', There must be, after all, other prominent personalities waiting in the wings to occupy the prestigious office vacated by Parthasarathy. The general impression, however, is that the prime minister is no longer impressed by or even interested in expert advice and prefers to go by his own unfettered hunches and inclinations. It appears that other expert committees and commissions such as the economic advisory and the science advisory committees which were set up one after another to give advice, personal and private, to the prime minister outside the official and institutional framework of the government too may soon be dissolved. These bodies in any case have not been called upon to do a great deal of work and their influence on policy-making has not been impressive, The prime minister, on his part, has not been paying much attention to their labours and, whatever advice they may have rendered, they could not have offered the simplistic answers to policy dilemmas which is what the prime minister likes. The advisers too have tended to give advice, especially in the area of economic policy and management, which may be regarded as being in conflict with the policy preferences of the prime minister. The reservations expressed by the economic advisory committee on the question of import liberalisation and management of balance of payments are known to have caused not only confusion but also embarrassment to the government. The science advisory body too may not have fully endorsed the government's policy of repetitive and continuous import of high technology and equity participation of foreign suppliers in business ventures based on high tech imports.

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