Competing demands result in shortchange in some sectors: FM

Mumbai: Against the backdrop of Bharat Ratna nominee CNR Rao's outburst over inadequate funding for science, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said competing demands from various departments do result in some sector getting short-changed.
"If the pie is small…if there are competing demands, the allocations tend to be smaller than what the sector deserves," Chidambaram told reporters when asked to comment on Rao's lament a day after his name was announced for the highest civilian honour.
Chidambaram was addressing reporters here after the launch of the country's first bank devoted to women, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
"We are all concerned about the allocation for science and technology. If the pie is large, you can allot a large amount of money," Chidambaram added.
After the announcement of his name for the Bharat Ratna, the veteran scientist had rued the fact that science and technology got inadequate funding and also called politicians "idiots" for doing "so little" for the sector.
"Why the hell these idiots, these politicians have given so little for us. In spite of that we scientists have done something," Rao had said, losing his cool.
However, he yesterday clarified that he never meant to call anybody idiot but had merely underlined the investment deficit in science.
Chidambaram, who centred his reply on the lack of resources, said multiple departments jostle for allotments and said others like defence, rural development, health and education also ask for money.
"I have a rule of thumb, if every department complains that it has been allotted less money, that means I have allotted fairly," the Finance Minister, who has a record for announcing the most number of budgets, quipped.