DBT -- A lesson in efficiency for babus
What babus failed to learn in years of service three months of technology has taught — simplify processes and get efficiency and accountability in return, Chetan Chauhan reports.delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2013 00:10 IST
What babus failed to learn in years of service three months of technology has taught — simplify processes and get efficiency and accountability in return.
Most bureaucrats are reluctant to ease multiple layers of approvals fearing audit objections giving unnecessary weight to government officials at different levels leading to corruption.
Also, too much simplification of processes would make India's typical bureaucracy redundant.
The UPA's government's direct benefit transfer (DBT) has in its first three months shown that this practice of bureaucrats has not worked and it needs to be changed if people welfare measures are to be disbursed in right earnest.
"In the course of review of the progress of Direct Benefit Transfer, it has become amply clear that a one-time huge process re-engineering is needed of schemes that are being implemented for similar group of beneficiaries by various ministries," says the minutes of the review meeting taken by the Prime Minister's Office recently.
The DBT experience showed that there were at-least six layers of money transfer before it finally got disbursed.
The money couldn't reach next level without bureaucratic approval and that led to delays and inefficiency.
In another scheme, the bureaucrats have created unnecessary hurdles which did not involve any value addition just to harass beneficiaries.
The Planning Commission -has now initiated changes in some of the 25 schemes under DBT in 51 districts.
The panel has constituted a group to review the existing schemes related to post and pre-matric scholarships and would suggested changes in its quantum, components and eligibility for the 12th five year plan to make the transfer of money easy and quick.
The committee which has started its work is preparing a DBT friendly template for harmonization of similar schemes being run by different ministries.
For instance, pre-matric scholarship schemes are run by HRD, Tribal Affairs, Social Justice and Empowerment and Minorities Affairs and all of them have different ways of disbursing money to beneficiaries.
"In DBT we would have a uniform system," a senior government official said.
Once the group submits its report and it is examined, the plan panel is expected to seek Cabinet's approval for harmonising the schemes and change inflow of fund transfer from the Central government directly into bank or postal account of the beneficiary.