Beauracratic reforms, the final solution to red tapism?
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
The personnel ministry order confirmed the three-member task force will include Govind Iyer, consultant at global management consulting group Egon Zehnder, and Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and Group CEO of HR tech company PeopleStrong.
Sometimes I think this coterie of reform masters in India lost the major point of reforms. The goods should be for the public, not only the industry captains. After 30 years of reform mania which BJP pitched as the ultimate panacea to all the evils, it is now turning out to be a nonchalant proposition for the public in general. Red tapism, beauracratic ills still exist for the common people and it has attained multiple different forms.
Actually, I believe the move for reforms had an underlying interest group working to forward it- the interest-free and hassle-free government contracts flow for the industries. Every layer of beauracracy acts in two ways, either it checks corruption and red-tapism or aids it. Still, the future of the common man is buried under files when it comes to government matters. Yes, the future of the businesses were glorious. Rather than feeding multiple layers and still waiting to get their desired end, they could now fasten up the things. That is what I believe happened.
That's the reason whenever one says to me that reforms will bring about a turnaround, I say for whom you are speaking. I still see the ground, the same. Need to raise questions and contradict some axiomatic assumptions that have been propagated like anything and no one raised a question.
The Top-bottom approach rather than bottom to top approach is what marred the intent. Again a question of haves and have-nots.
Need to see things from a different perspective. As Mint points out “In sum, extracting the best out of a bureaucracy does not necessarily require heavy-handed monitoring or radical downsizing. The power of incentives can be a far more effective tool, as studies have shown.
Heavy-handed monitoring will only lead to inefficiencies and delay in processes. Outright downsizing will be met with steep resistance as already the job situation is precarious. Moreover, if even after incentivising the beauracracy, things do not seem to change radically, it means corruption and inefficiency has become a part and parcel of public life. Allowing private players in the public space has to some extent improved efficiency but what to do with the political affiliations, hierarchical stagnancy, caste, creed, region alongside laxity and numerous other factors that affects the beauracracy in general. One must understand honesty and efficiency is the glue that doesn't hold long in the existent task force environment. And, to be very honest, minor staffing changes are also not going to cut down red-tapism and maintain the sanctity of public offices for long.
So, we are staring at a see-saw where divestment may further weaken the public sector and the domestic industries and without it a lot more inefficiency may creep in generating losses, finally bringing the institution to the point where it may get sold.