In the near future, all central government schemes could have the Prime Minister or the names of nationalist leaders prefixed to them and films highlighting the achievements of Narendra Modi shown ‘mandatorily’ before screening of movies in every theatre.
These are part of the series of recommendations by the Group Of Ministers for increased visibility of Central Government schemes and achievements in states and districts, the others being:
1) Creating animation clips of various achievements of the government, highlighting the “difference between the past and present” in a “humorous way”.
2) Roping in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for execution.
3) Central schemes should be done in presence of Union ministers and MPs so that the role of Centre is highlighted.
4.) Enhancing the authority of MPs by giving them constitutional authority to carry out checks on execution of the schemes and build in a system of penalties enforceable by central government, whenever there is lack of efficiency in execution of a scheme.
Above mentioned are among the few:
There is innovation to some extent when it comes to giving MPs constitutional authority (point 4), which is worth while experimenting given the fact that MPs being direct representatives of people could increase accountability in implementation of the schemes. However, the recommendation that Central ministers and MPs be present so that the role is highlighted is highly laughable. The Central government largely benefits of the revenues generated by the state, the states are largely responsible for the implementation of any scheme however noble the intentions might be. For example, the food distribution system (FDS) works amazingly well in some states and not so impressive in other states. Same could be said for MGNREGA and other Central schemes be it developmental or welfare. To add to it, very few schemes are centrally sponsored in its entirety, lot of the schemes have part spent by states and part by Centre. The proportion varies from state to state. As Mr Modi said “Central government and state government together make Team India”, going by the above recommendations it looks like anything but a team.
The race and thoughts seem to be directed towards who gets the credit and not on how well it is implemented. Advertising of schemes is okay, until there is a requirement that people should know about the scheme to avail the benefits of schemes. For example, a time bound health insurance scheme or a deadline for Aadhaar card application or the Odd even scheme etc. Any expenditure directed towards taking credit for schemes is an expenditure that could be avoided. To put in perspective how much it costs to advertise achievements, the Jayalalithaa government of Tamil Nadu spent 25 crores to advertise achievements of one year in government.
The Logical Indian appeals to the state and Central governments to work together, share the credit and cut expenditure. Good schemes implemented efficiently will always be well received by the people and duly appreciated by the media and people alike.