Mandatory social audit, empowered lokpal and lokayuktas, law to regulate regulators and separating government's policy formation and implementation duties are some of the mechanisms the UPA government wants to adopt to check corruption and development deficit.
In the approach paper for the 12th plan presented before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and set of senior Cabinet ministers on Saturday, the Planning Commission said only an independent lokpal cannot tackle corruption.
“We need a slew of measures, including transparency in allocation of natural resources and accountability of regulatory mechanism,” said BK Chaturvedi, a plan panel member.
The moves come at the time when social activist Anna Hazare had launched a nationwide campaign to fight corruption through a powerful anti-corruption watchdog — lokpal.
The panel's assessment says only 60% of welfare measures reach real beneficiaries.
“Lokpal is one of the mechanisms we are suggesting and it may need a change in lokayukta laws of different states,” a senior plan panel official said.
The panel also wants the government to collaborate with the civil society in each of its popular schemes although the experiment of having a joint drafting committee on lokpal ended in bitterness.The panel has suggested the introduction of Total Quality Management in entire programme formulation and implementation to end "universalisation without quality syndrome".
The approach paper approved on Saturday also says that there should be a provision in popular scheme for social mobilization and recruiting professionals from the open market with strict accountability.
The panel also wants to keep the government's scheme implementation role at an arms length from its policy framing role.
“There is an inbuilt conflict of interest which promoted inefficiency,” the official said, adding that the approach paper has addressed the issue through a chapter proposing systematic reforms. The government wants to use technology, especially Unique Identification Number, to bring transparency in implementation of the government schemes and talks of providing benefits directly to people through electronic mode.
Officials said efficiency will mean a fall in government's subsidy burden from 1.6% of the GDP to 1.4% by 2017.