For those who are curious to know how national policies are devised, drafted and released, here's first account step by step detail of the procedure – We Also Make Policy.
A book written by Subhash Chandra Garg, former Finance Secretary, captures the adamancy of RBI Governor, frustrations of Prime Minister and anguish of Finance Minister besides emotions of political honchos and bureaucrats involved in scripting the future of the nation.
Who is Subhash Garg?
Subhash Chandra Garg, a 1983 batch IAS from Rajasthan cadre, is an expert in financial management. He is a qualified cost and management account and also possesses a professional qualification of company secretary with gold medal.
His stint with World Bank as executive director has only sharpened his skills in economics and financial management.
Hailing from a middle class family of Ajmer, Garg has travelled a long aerial distance in illustrious bureaucratic career. His father was in P&T department while one of his brothers Satyendra Garg has retired as Director General Police.
‘We Also Make Policy' is Garg's second attempt in book writing. His first book – Ten Trillion Dream – published by Penguin Portfolio in 2022, is centres around the present state of India's economy. It thematically explores the critical policy issues India faces today and suggests reforms for India to become a $10-trillion economy by the mid-2030s.
Subhash Garg took voluntary retirement
In July 2019, Subhash Chandra Garg was transferred abruptly from the post of finance secretary to power secretary. Garg sought voluntary retirement immediately and was relieved on October 31, 2019, a year before his scheduled retirement.
Sources said that the transfer of Garg was due to friction of government with RSS which had condemned the idea of floating sovereign bond in international market. As the finance secretary, it was believed that the man behind the idea was Subhash Garg.
The government's rationale for an overseas sovereign bond flotation — which could be denominated in dollars, euros or yen — was that this would free up space for private companies to borrow money from domestic markets.
We Also Make Policy
The book is making noise even before hitting stands. It has captured the infamous rift between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then RBI Governor Urijit Patel over relaxes of surplus reserves to the government. In his book Garg said that the Prime Minister, out of sheer frustration, lost his cool and compared Urijit Patel to a “snake who sits over a hoard of money”.
The book full of anecdotes and gives a candid ringside view of inner working finance ministry. It showcase the complexities involved in making policies and implementing them.
The book talks candidly about controversial decisions from the first tenure of the NDA government, such as the politics of ‘minimum support price' to farmers, electoral bonds, recapitalizing of banks, monetizing national assets and the controversial resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel, among others.
As the author of three Union Budgets, Garg also talks about what it takes to put the Budget together: the pressures, the processes, the calculations and, above all, the politics.
Ram Kumar Kaushik is a seasoned journalist with over 25 years of experience across mediums. The architect of this news website, he is also a consultant with several media groups. He was formerly the group managing editor of ITV Network (NewsX, India News and The Sunday Guardian) and its digital products.