two dimensions of the challenges faced by Kerala
the current problems that the State faces are many,
broadly, they can be generalised into two categories:
The decline in performance of public service
The breakdown of the finances of the State
Both of these sets of problems mutually reinforce each other. Over the last several years, in particular,
it has only served to distance Government from the common
man. Needless to say, in the process, the poor suffer
The first set of problems includes the public sector
operating with little concern for results, an almost complete
absence of a service culture, overlap and duplication across
levels of government, policies riding on fragmented systems
and processes of government.
The deeper malady of a dysfunctional and under-performing
Government – a phenomenon accentuated in the last two decades
– is more fundamental than the second set of problems but
is less debated in Kerala.
The second set of problems include the present unsustainable
position of public finances as well as the low growth in
the economy coupled with a distinctly ‘disabling environment’
for the private sector.
Even the assets created by Government in the last
few decades are languishing on account of poor investment.
However, the fiscal crisis – particularly the fact
that the State is living beyond its means – seems to be
gaining increasing recognition in Kerala.