Jun 2, 2007

Governance reforms redux

These last few days have made me think about the current affairs of the state. Let me enumerate what i think (Dont even think that what i say will have any structure or coherency)

1) The biggest problem we have right now is the malfunctioning of the government's implementation mechanism -
what this results into -
a) Lack of desired outcomes- allowing people to question Govt's work in areas such as Social security, Education and Food security )
b) No way to judge the policy- whether its good or bad as the policy as it is could not be implemented fully.
c) Again giving voices to left leaning people to throw more good money into such schemes - as per me wrongly arguing that the mechanism failed due to low funding etc.)
d) Allowing right leaning people (like me :)) to argue against social security (in itself a desirable goal)
d) Increasing cynicism among political class, who anyway know that irrespective of the outcomes, all that matters is whether they can establish some positive corealtion of intended outcomes with a community - whether overall the policy may not be desirable.

2) Some structural inbalances
a) Police Reforms- One of the best things that the govt can do is to ovwerhaul the current police system

b) Education system - Central Governemt should make the sector more free. Plus in the current economic scenario, becomes important that the current university system is more vocation oriented. I dont know much but do follow Atanu Deys 10 part series

c) Implementation Mechanism - RTI is the best thing to happen in a long time, now its just upto barious NGOs, bodies etc to somehow arrive a t a model which can make the bureaucracy more accountable. People maynot realise, but so many schemes give away so much money, which more often than not fails to reach the intended people. Information dissemination about schemes, People everything.

d) Agriculture sector reforms - what can be done- Land records and registration to be synchronised by all state govts. Free to sell land for non agri purposes. tax agri income. levy user charges for irrigation schemes. Strenghten WuAs

3) My solutions
a) Govt to focus on Education, Health, Social Security.
b) Instead of having big ticket program implementation, focus on governance reforms
c) Get private sector into the schemes, wherever they can (eg roads, power, Irrigation)
d) SEZs a good way ( remove the eminent domain funda, only for private parties. eg govt should not be intermediary) However ensure that no strong arm tactics are employed by Industrialists.
e) Overall, except social sector and Infrastructure, govt should be regulator not the provider