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Bureaucracy cannot dictate policy: Jairam Ramesh on Shyam Saran

New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) The tussle between Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran which has led to Saran’s resignation came out in the open Wednesday when Ramesh said: ‘bureaucracy cannot dictate policy’.

Ramesh said he had no differences with Shyam Saran, who has resigned from the post of over reported disagreements with the minister over India’s climate policy, except a ‘difference of perception and working style’.

‘I didn’t see any differences. It’s basically of working style and how one approaches a problem but frankly I have nothing to do with his decision (to resign),’ Ramesh said at an interaction at the Indian Women’s Press Corps here.

Saran announced his resignation Feb 19. According to reports, the decision came following differences with Ramesh over climate change negotiations.

‘We tried to work together but there is a difference in style of working, perception and nuances. I am more of a political person and he is a bureaucrat,’ Ramesh said.

The minister said he was accountable to parliament and has to go back to parliament to explain his decisions.

‘The fact is that environment ministry is responsible for climate change and then whatever happens it is for the ministry to hold the tag for good or bad. It is my job to set the policy. I would listen to bureaucrats but bureaucracy cannot dictate policy,’ he said.

‘We are partners and I don’t make policy by fatwas (diktats). Rather I consult everybody and once decided they should support me. But it is unfortunate that in our country arguments go on even after a decision is taken,’ he added.

Ramesh said that at no stage of the climate change talks were there any differences between him and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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