Gadkari, who is minister for road transport,highways, shipping and MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises), was speaking at the inaugural function of city-based Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology’s (VNIT) diamond jubilee celebrations.
On January 18, Gadkari had said that the $5 trillion economy was difficult but not impossible and the PMO was holding daily meetings to discuss measures for improving the infrastructure, transport and other sectors.
The comments on bureaucrats come in the wake of the terse remarks made in Delhi on January 13. “These people (bureaucrats) are insensitive. They can’t make decisions. They make incorrect DPRs, keep squatting on files and don’t even let others make deciions. They make incorrect DPRs, keep squatting on files and don’t even let others make decisions,” Gadkari had said in Delhi.
At VNIT, the highways minister mocked at the functioning of babus. “I have set a target of investing Rs5lakh crore in infrastructure this year. There is no shortage of funds, but the only thing missing is courage in government official to make decisions,” he said.
“In the last five years, I have approved investments worth Rs17lakh crore. Just the other day, during our high level meeting, bureaucrats were saying, ‘We will do this, we will do that’. I told them ‘Why would you do this or that ? If you had the capacity to do it then why would you become an IAS officer and work here. You could have been industrialists. It’s not your job’,” he said, without specifying the projects that were discussed.
“I told the IAS officers to help those who can do it and not to mess things up,” Gadkari added.
On the economy, Gadkari said, “The government is trying to formulate a policy to cut imports and increase exports to make a 5 trillion economy.”
He reiterated his stand regarding imports. “Despite having enough resources and technology of our own our imports are worth billions of rupees. The government needs support from institutions like VNIT and LIT for research and development pertaining to raw materials available in Nagpur and Vidarbha. We have a big coal block,but we are still importing coal. While paper mills are being imported,” he said.
Regarding VNIT’s request for funding, Gadkari said the institute has generous and capable alumni who are ready to raise a corpus for its development. “Shortfall of any kind will be taken care of by the government,” he told the administration.