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A case of communication gap or usual sloppiness

By M K Shukla- 18 Oct 2020


A crucial gap in communication has been nagging and disturbing senior government officials.

While it was decided in February/March to turn rotting cereals and grains in the state-owned stocks and godowns into biofuel for mixing with fossil fuels to reduce the country's dependence on the latter and save on huge imports bill, the implementation of the idea and plan has been inordinately delayed because the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG) could not sort out the issue of pricing of biofuels.

It is stated that this task of fixing the biofuel prices was not a difficult one. It merely required consultations between MoP&NG officials and oil marketing PSUs executives. A few rounds of consultations would have cleared the path for devising the price-mechanism and fixing biofuel prices at a profitable level for oil marketing PSUs. This would have also opened the path for FCI to dispose of off its rotten grains to distillers. In the process, both FCI and distillers, too, would have made profits, besides employing people in these hard days.

The concern among senior officials is that such a good idea and plan was stuck in the MoP&NG for no rhyme or reason till mid-October until the top authority on 13 October expressed displeasure over the inordinate delay.  

Officials aware of the nitty-gritty of the issue are not willing to accept the 'excuse' of change of guard at the secretary level in the Ministry of P&NG. It is pointed out that in the three-month period between March-June, the issue could have been easily resolved. "No rocket science was involved".

Officials have been, therefore, wondering whether the whole episode was one of 'communication gap' or 'usual sloppiness' that marks out Indians from others.

(By M K Shukla)

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