Saturday, May 25, 2024

No transparency

We know that governance is the key issue that presently needs to be addressed as far as Nagaland is concerned. We are aware that our state receives huge amount of money from the Centre every year for allocation in diversified fields under various heads. But there is no check at all whether the funds are properly utilized or not! Nearly one third of our budgetary amount is spent on salaries of employees only. But staff accountability is nowhere and absenteeism atmosphere is conducive. We are a poor state and it becomes poorer due to bad governance. Corruption is at its peak and poor people are harassed by many agencies like police, civil servants and other officials. The government spends some money on social sector but nothing is yielded. The teachers do not teach children what they ought to and a good percentage of doctors do not attend their duties, and if they do then they are not there on time. The trust on government decrease considerably and people are not willing to cooperate and collaborate with the government. Society like ours where politicians and civil servants make money is a routine, the work culture suffers and manipulation is considered rewarding rather than hard work. It is observed that corruption amongst government servants and politicians is not because of need; it is because of lure. Even higher costs have not been matched with better service delivery. Indeed good governance is very curial in our situation. The masses and civil society are interested in good governance. Few honest civil servants who are honest are interested in good governance. Industrialists may come here and invest their money only when good governance takes roots in Nagaland. So the question is how to neutralize the negative forces so that we feel the fragrance of good governance. Perhaps the need is for us to reform the civil service before taking any step in construction measure. The skill imbalance and rise in costs is a major concern. The burden of weak administration falls on the shoulders of poor people. Good governance is required to be implemented at all levels in letter and spirit. The government should manage resources efficiently and effectively. Good governance means effective public service delivery. Policies and practices should be framed that maximize the common public’s goodness and benefit the poor. The schemes should be formulated taking into consideration the people and implemented in the interests of the poor people. There should also be effective rule of law, and reduction of uncertainties about decision making. At the same time, there is an urgent need to reform our judiciary so as to reduce the delays in long pending cases in different courts. To simplify the laws and procedures we need to do more. On political front, eliminate the corrupt and illicit politicians that use dirty politics and declare their names in public as a positive step towards good governance. Greater transparency and accountability is the need of the hour so that there is no room for corruption. Our departments are still slumbering and seem lethargic in doing their jobs. They are busy in merry making and there is no punctuality in their arrival and departure from duty. Indeed there is a need to reform the civil service and encouraging transparency. The oath of secrecy needs to be replaced by oath of transparency. Transparency helps in improving quality of administration and correct reporting. Transparency helps in people’s participation and awareness. Here a very important tool for implementing good governance is information technology. Sadly we are lagging far behind in the race of achieving and adopting information technology. IT has emerged as a very important device for transparency and accuracy in data analysis. The computerization of land registration and other related divisions needs to be done immediately. It is worthwhile to mention here that there are persons who are on the same posting for the last 15 to 20 years. Transfer policy should be computerized so that transfers are made on time and properly, especially in police department. We may have computerization in public grievances and their redressal is possible online having proper monitoring. An analysis reveals that corruption has considerably reduced where computerization has been introduced.