One power in the hands of the corrupt elements in the government establishment is to delay disposal of a file. A file is a request or application or any actionable receipt, such as a letter on which a decision is required to be taken. Though there are monitoring mechanisms to watch the processing of any such matter, but there was no time limit laid down for their final disposal. It is here that the public comes in contact with the government. Take for example a new electricity connection or issue of a birth certificate or a death certificate or a ration card. Delay in legitimate action in such matters created opportunities for corrupt practices, as the citizen felt harassed and victimized. Now the Delhi Government has notified 28 services where decisions will need to be taken within prescribed time limits (from 1 day to 45 days in some cases). Failure to deliver the service will be penalized by fines and administrative action. It is enough to instill the fear of the law in the minds of the habitually corrupt, who have lived too long without getting disciplined. A welcome improvement from a regime of naked bribery to penalty for dereliction of duty or harassment of the people!
Who said Anna Hazare led anti corruption movement is not going to yield any results. Wait and see. This is just the beginning.
Government Departments like the MTNL better improve their services or be ready to be penalized. It is decades since computerization was begun in government offices. The email directories of several departments are either not updated or simply blank. Similarly telephone numbers given for grievance redressal simply don’t answer. Try any number printed on the back of your telephone bill of the MTNL and if it ever responds get 100 rupee reward from me.
Can the minister for communications set things right?