Saturday, August 15, 2009
IN AN attempt to make public administration more efficient, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh made a commitment in his Independence Day speech that the government would speed up implementing recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) to strengthen governance. Prime Minister also said that Right to Information (RTI) Act would be improved further so that it becomes more effective in bringing in accountability and transparency in public life. “We will act with speed on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission to strengthen governance,” he said while emphasizing the need to make public administration more efficient. In fact, 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission or ARC, chaired by Veerappa Moily came out with a number of reports on administrative reforms, but most of its recommendations have not been implemented so far. Significantly, Prime Minister Dr Singh devoted a large part of his Independence Day speech on the need to have better administration, decentralization and effective delivery of public services both in urban and rural areas. “Renewed efforts will be made to decentralize public administration through the Panchayati Raj Institutions and to ensure greater involvement of people in it. Initiative will be taken for a new partnership between the civil society and the government so that tax payers’ money is better spent,” he said. He said the government would make special efforts to strengthen the administrative machinery for rural programmes. “Those who live in villages and semi-urban areas should get services similar to the residents of urban areas. Communication and Information Technology can go a long way in achieving this objective. Recently, we have set up the Unique Identification Authority of India. This is a historic step to link up the whole country through a high quality administrative arrangement. We expect the first set of identity numbers to be available in the next one to one and a half years,” he said.