Posted by Neeraj Singh on August 18, 2011 at 3:30 PM
"Expecting Corruption to completely be rooted out of a society is a dream every mind can fantasize about, for it is the mind that Corrupts not an act", says the author. But there are definitely ways that one can put in the process to reduce it to the extent possible. Lets understand bit by bit. It's just author's view & you can add to it as you deem fit.
- Automate the Delivery system with proper checks & Balances thru Govt wide ERP tool to remove BABU RED TAPISM:
Right to Recall: If a MP has been charged in the Court of law & his conviction is upheld, he should be called back. He ceases to be a MP any further. The same should happen in case of anti defection that a MP does.Abolish Discretionary Powers of Ministers: No government minister, big or small, should have any discretionary power to decide upon any matter, big or small. Everything must be decided based on a process, which is again online & would need the exact person to authorize what needs to be authorized. If a minister wants to override an executive, he can do it but by only recommeding his decision to a bigger panel. Right to Service Act: What better can one do than what the Bihar & Jharkhand governments have done in this area on the eve of sixty fifth Independence day. Right to Service act primarily is a ray of hope to those who need basic services full filled. As of now, this has been started with a view to provide important certificates that people require like Certificate of Income, Character, Residence, Caste, Mutation & Driving license & their renewal. This would need to be ensured to be provided to the petitioner within a stipulated period of time without greasing anyone's palm failing which there is a provision for penalty or even suspension from service. This needs to be read in conjunction with the first point of automating the service delivery system.Independent Prosecuting Agencies: CBI & CVC should immdiately start working as an independent entities instead of reporting to the government. Today they are regulated by the government & hence political witch hunting is everywhere to be seen. Let them play fair & unbiased.Mandatory projection of Prime / Chief ministerial Candidate: All political parties must project their prime ministerial candidate before the elections. No party shall be allowed to get into the electoral process unless they clearly project to the people who will become the head of state / centre upon their winning the elections. It should apply even if the government is a coalition, pre or post elections. Which ever party gets maximum seat, can make the Head of state irrespective of any situation of coalition compulsions. Minimum Votes to be elected as MP: No MP shall be elected just because he has polled the maximun votes across a bunch of candidates. A successful candidate must poll a certain number of votes to be declared as winner. If it is not followed, the candidate so chosen is not essentially represented by the consituency. The minimum votes for a MP to be successful should be atleast 50% of the constituency size. Make Voting in Elections Mandatory for all: People don't take part in elections because of which lot many times, one has to contend with wrong candidates winning the elections. All people, eligible to vote, should be mandatorily made to vote. There should be some punitive mechanism, as in Australia, to deal with errants.Make Municipalities devoid of Party Politics: One of the main reasons, even good people, don't fight elections at municipal level is because it involves party allegiance. Typically it's the political party's mammoth size, money & muscle power that wins over an individual. Remove it until the Municipality level. From Mukhiya to Municipality, there shouldn't be any party system, whatsoever, for fighting elections. It should be just fought by individuals. For whatever work that they do & are accountable for, should be checked by the Auditors, as proposed above. Right to recall should apply to them as well.Turn unorganized sector into Organized Sector by bringing in Governing policies: One of the main reasons some of the industries have a lot of Corruption is because of the unorganized wayin which they operate & it is very difficult to take any action against them. Best examples to cite is the Real Estate industry. By far, it is this industry that sees most fo the corruption in terms of land grabbing, building mafia, Underworld. Today one doesn't even know if the land on which one is building a house is legal or not. Government offices don't have the updated records. After 10 years of building, notifications are issued about the illegality. Make Choices available to people: Typically we have always said & believed that we need to get good people in the system. That seems to be a very ambitious. Not that we don't have such people but to get them elected depends upon a number of factors that may not be in your control. So best is to contain an issue. Today, poor people are dependent upon government agencies for most of their basic needs. What we miss is the availability of options to them. Even for a service they have to be registered at a single place of domicile. Like a poor who migrates from one place to another can't benefit from pro poor policies of another state because he is not domiciled there although he remains poor wherever he is in within India. Policy should be such that he gets the benefits of his state or visiting state & that his travel doesn't prohibit him to get such benefits. Social Entrepreneurship & Community based Programs for Profit making: In addition, social entrepreneurship needs to be evolved in the country. We have the co-operative societies only in certain areas or industries. This will need to be changed by getting co-operative societies in majority of the areas like civil, construction, land cultivation etc. This will empower the poor as well to come forward & get an equal amount of share in most of these areas. Today they are restricted to a bit in Banking & milk societies alone. Some of the government & private bodies have ventured into this area & doing well. Unless we empower & unite the power, looting them is so very simple. Re-Invest at least 40% the revenue earned from a location into that location: One of the major issues that we see today is that we reap the benefits of the forests & send them to the urban areas or exports while the area that gave the benefit still remains in shambles. Unless we have a habit of re-investing the revenues in that location itself, anyone would be against you. Maoist issue is one based on such premise. We took their mines, took their forests, took their lands for commercial use but they remained where they were. When they demad services, we ask them bribe.Make Policing a Central Subject: Today most of the police officers play dirty in the hands of the local politicians within a state. They work as the local state government asks them to do. They need to act as it were right to do. Policing ideally should be reporting an agency National Police Commission reporting into the Central Home Ministry. They should have a single line of direction. No police officer can be transferred just like that. He needs to complete his tenure unless the situation warrants & the matter cleared by the National Commission. It can't be a decision of a minister to transfer an IPS officer on his whims & fancies. In addition, it should be the same Policing process across India. Why should one have to go thru a different system everywhere. More so, any state should have only 40 percent of its staff as the local domicile owing to language & geographical requirements. Remaining 60 percent should alwalys be from other states. There shouldn't be any thing called as a state police commission at all at the first place. Again the filing of cases should be done thru a team of Judicial members rather than the police officials. Filing of case, requires a legal understanding rather a policing understanding. Once a ticket is raised, it just needs to go to police to take action. This team can be part of the National Judicial Commission. Mandatory payment of more than Rs 25,000 thru Cheques: Every transaction that involves more than 25,000 should be done thru cheques. Which would mean that no one can do a cash withdrawl of more than Rs 25,000 in a day. One should be able to withdraw money thru a local bank. Only Hospitals will need tobe provided with a 24 banking service where irrespective of your bank, you would be able to withdraw more sums when required. All such transactions would be available with the IT department to check against the account holder if the reasons cited are correct or not? All banks should file with the income tax authorities cases where monies more than Rs 75,000 has been withdrawn thru cash in a month. Income tax authorities should have a right to check the accounts & question the individual. In addition, a separate a/c should be created for individuals with wealth for more than Rs 5,00,000. Each such account information should be available with the RBI & income tax authorities for monitoring. Income tax authorities will need to take a warrant from the Tax Commisioner before they check such accounts & give strong reasons before interviewing an individual in such matters.Mandatory filing of Income tax by Traders, Businessmen & Politicians: Every local registrar of companies should have an automated system to check if all the traders / companies registered with it have filed their return or not? In no way, should it ever happen, that one goes without filing the income tax returns. These returns should match with the details of his bank accounts. These checks should be monitored by the IT department. In the absence of a trader/company failing to do, his registration should be cancelled within a given period of time. SImilarly all elected MP's & government employees must register with the government the number of accounts that they operate. This should be made part of the national registry & should be strictly secured. Only relevant people with the right credentials & Authority should have access to it. The pattern of security should be same as that maintained by the private banking companies or the BPO companies while securing the customer banking records.
- The biggest Corruption is not 2G or CWG, it's the not reaching of basic services to poor. It's the impact that decides the Corruption not the volume. Hence, I feel that the first & foremost is to ensure that every one who registers for a service from any public department, a ticket must be opened in the customer's name within the public government system. This ticket is just to track that nothing is going unnoticed. This ticket shall be opened by a user himself or thru a team of outsourced professionals, without the ambit of government, where users can come & submit their complaint in black & white. They should be assisted by a team of people who understand the need & righly log it within the system.
- Based upon the ticketing system, the ticket shall get assigned to the right department within the government. So now it's the Ticketing office that needs to interface with the government department rather the user. Every Ticket professional should be target based in terms of the tickets that it closes & every Government official of a department should be bound by the turn around time within which it needs to close the ticket. In teh event that the government department needs any documentation or requires any interface, it is the ticket professional who needs to do it. It implies to all departments except for cases or tickets pertaining to the Police department.
- A very promising scheme of the government like UID, will come in handy in this. Any service that needs to be provided, should be provided to the consumer at his door step rather than one to visit the government offices for collection. It's here that the corruption is most likely to happen. Like if I have a ration card & a UID, my monthly ration should reach me between every 1st to 10th of the month without myself to go & open a ticket on the system. There should be a provision for one time logging of such services. If the user puts a complain that such service has not reached him, he can put a complain that the ticketing official needs to chase to get done. Ticketing official is bound by the TAT. In the event that the service is still not reached the consumer on two complaints, it should automatically be escalated to the state's Right to Service team. A complaint or a ticket can't be closed unless there is a written authentication provided by the consumer. Instead of 10 PDS centres, a district or Taluka should have one ware house where all PDS related items need to be maintained. The PDS distribution officer doesn't have any control on the Ticketing system.
- In the PDS centre, the amount of grain & other articles available is maintained by way of a computerized inventory system. The day a consignment reaches to the local district office warehouse, there are five people who should certify it thru the system logins if the amount entered is correct or not. They should be the District Magistrate, Suprintendent of Police, District Medical Suprintendent, District Judge & a certified Local NGO head. It becomes the duty of the DM, upon receipt of the grains, that it gets distributed across the people within a stipulated time period. This again needs to be tracked thru the system. Every Chief Minister or Minister for Rural development should ensure that it is getting done in time or not. In the event that distribution is not closed in time, the system should automatically escalate the issue to centre with a cc to Central Vigilance department.
- Create an Audit team of outsourced professionals. This team's job is just to find out if the service to a rural or urban person has reached or not, if in time or not, if rightly or not. This person can be provided with a hand held device to audit the consumers for those who have a ticket opened. Everyone on this PDA device needs to necessarilly put his thumb imprint instead of signing to ensure if the service has been reached or not. This anyway is being maintained in the UID. If not, it can initiated. Signatures can be forged, thumb impression, ummhh, very difficult unless you have a criminal intent of that nature.
- Follow the same process above for any tenders that are requested for any civil work by the government. All of the tenders should be received by the government thru only a mechanism of online system meant for registered traders/contractors. All this information should be available in the system. If say for eg, a contractor constructed a road in the locality. But the quality is very bad & the road got damaged in one season, it is the job of the consumers to file compliants within the system pertaining to that road. The ticketing professional then needs to assign which contractor has got the road constructed. Once you have reached a limit or criteria to take an action against a contractor based upon number of compliants, that contractor will be up for suit in the law of court as a PIL on behalf of the government with a copy of the complaint already having reached to the district judge thru the ERP system. So if the government doesn't initiate the action, the judge can reprimand the government.
Remember we don't have an effective Audit & Governing system but more than that we don't have the right processes set up to do Audit & Governance upon. We need to set up a team of professionals rather than government babus to find out the best process to administer the above & make them effective.