And now, World Bank roped in to help push files faster!
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, February 17: After fourteen years in power, the Congress government in Assam has woken up to the need for administrative reforms to speed up development.
The State has inked an agreement with the World Bank for capacity building under Assam State Public Service Reforms. The World Bank will fund $ 44 million for this project, which will be implemented mainly in the Health, Revenue and Welfare of Plain Tribes & Backward Classes (WPT&BC) departments.
Administrative Reforms minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman said tardy movement of official files, mostly due to red-tapism, had retarded development and deprived people of timely delivery of public service.
“I have seen for myself, it takes years for a flood victim to get the ex-gratia relief announced by the government. The movement of files is very sluggish. The procedure has been rendered cumbersome,” the minister said.
In many cases, official files gather dust on tables for months altogether.
“We must ensure time-bound movement of files. Whosoever is responsible for clearing files – whether any employee or officer - has to do it in a time-bound manner,” Barman said.
The World-Bank funded project will try to ensure capacity building of employees and officers in this regard.
However, not many are amused at the Tarun Gogoi government’s much belated initiative at the fag end of its third term. Commoners feel two main reasons for the delay in movement of files is the trademark ‘lahe lahe’ attitude of the government employees and bribes they expect for the 'service'.
Assam government had in the past constituted a reforms commission which had submitted several recommendations. But most of the recommendations remain confined to reports. Nothing much has changed on the ground.
It remains to be seen if the State government’s latest initiative is another eye-wash, or Dispur really means business in getting some work done at last.