Resolving The Bureaucratic Net In India
Bureaucracy in India is a maze that needs an imperative solution to simplify every Individual’s existence and in general, operationalization of businesses. In India, day to day to functioning of Government is undertaken by permanent ministries and other public service agencies that issue licenses and approvals for both individuals and business entities. Since Independence, there has been increasing growth in the proportion of bureaucracy in India.
We, as a nation have series of compliances and formalities that are mandatory, be it statutory laws, regulations, by-laws,
guidelines and so on and so forth, that governs almost every facet of our lives, social, economic or otherwise. There is Red-tapsim or in other words, lack of transparency and hierarchical chain of approvals many a times is time consuming and frustrating, which inevitably germinates problems such as bribery and corruption.
Yet indeed,resolving this age old problem of bureaucracy is a daunting but possible exercise. All it requires is reduction in paper work to basic documentary proof and authentication requirements, integration in work performed by different divisions in a department, increased responsiveness and transparency and providing reasons for rejections for grant of an approval. These are some of the essential factors that can resolve this mammoth problem of bureaucracy in India .
A paramount challenge is to delink influence of politics in particularly the operationalization of high stake businesses in
India. The Right to Information Act is step in the right direction. Another instance is the commendable initiative of the Ministry of Company Affairs in India that now accepts online submission of data for incorporation of new companies in India ensuring efficiency in data management, timeliness and total transparency in its functioning. As a Corporate Counsel, we owe the responsibility to simplify laws and procedures and expedite processing of administrative and legal approvals. My practical experience has proved that based on our comprehensive understanding of laws, a Corporate Counsel can question any ambiguous areas by official communications with concerned departments and seeking written answers from them again through official communication . Of course, it is essential to maintain regular followup and influence of the power of law to expedite processing and derive answers from the Government agencies which is made easier if you possess good communication skills and understand the intrinsic functioning of Government departments. Often, the Government departments seek Corporate Counsel’s suggestions to simplify any grey areas in the laws of subject matter they deal in and to obviate difficulties in procedural requirements that are forwarded to the appropriate authorities to bring about necessary amendments in laws and procedures. One such area of law we extensively worked on with the Ministry of consumer affairs is that of Standards of weights and measures and the other is simplification of Food and drugs laws in India.
Today, India is witnessing unprecedented boom of liberalization, growth in economy, acceleration and growth in all
sectors including Information technology, real estate, retail and Pharma sector. In order to encash the opportunity and its latent potential, India needs to combat its bureaucratic net which acts a major deterrent factor to all potential investors. Why is there a sea difference in the manner in which public sector functions as opposed to private sector in India? For example, compare prevalent efficient mobile and internet telephony networks with Power, roads or water supply! The silver line appears with the dawn of public-private partnership that is emerging in the form of SEZ, Family and Health Plan projects besides other segments in India.
Perhaps, we have come to realize that this bureaucratic net needs to untangle and the promising winds of liberalization will effectuate the streamlining fast!