New Delhi, Dec 3: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today suggested that coalition compulsions were coming in the way of taking “bold decisions” and announcing new policies, but insisted that initiatives are being taken by his government for overall development.
“The difficulty is when you want to make bold decision, announce new policy decision, get everybody together—that is a challenge,” he said addressing the HT Leadership Summit here.
Noting that the state has been run by coalition governments since 1995, Chavan said the decision making process at times gets affected due to coalition compulsions.
“We (Maharashtra) faced big challenges. We have had a fractured polity since 1995 when coalition (governments) began...there are difficulties of building consensus,” he said while listing challenges facing his state.
Asked about around 200 projects pending for environmental clearances with his government, Chavan, who completed one year last month as Chief Minister of the state, said an online system of applying for such approval was on the anvil.
“Environmental clearances take time. But it should not. I am trying to put in a system for filing online application. It is my priority,” he said.
On allegations that he does not clear files due to fear of corruption charges, Chavan said he does not look at individual cases and was concentrating on policy decisions.
“We have to fast track policy decisions so that major infrastructure projects are speeded up,” he said, adding that ensuring “perfect law and order” was a major challenge for him.
On FDI in retail, Chavan said Maharashtra government would implement it after the Centre notifies the decision. He said people who are in the supply chain like middlemen and certain traders will be affected by it, but farmers and consumers as well as overall economy will benefit.
“The farmers do not get adequate return on their produce as people in the supply chain benefit most. I think FDI in retail will help farmers get good return on their products. We should for it,” he said.
Asked how he was functioning when half-a-dozen ministers in his cabinet aspire to become the Chief Minister, Chavan said there was “nothing wrong in being ambitious”.
“Moreover, it keeps you on your toes,” he said, adding that the state needs second level leadership also.
Chavan, who was addressing a session on ‘Personality Power: How it makes for good governance', said the polity in the country as well as relations between Centre and states are transforming as states have become financially powerful.
On leadership quality, he said today's leaders need to understand media, “particularly the electronic media and sound-byte politics” as people are much more aware and Informed then before.