The North Pole-South Pole alliance has discovered the fulcrum of the association that helps it balance the pressures from the two sides. Power, obviously is playing the key adhesive to manage differences on issues of politics and governance. Seemingly, both the parties have understood the requirement of accommodating each other’s concerns and it is speaking the way the government is functioning.
Barring a few incidents including that of Handwara, in which the crucial official intervention could have been better, most of the decision-making in last less-than-two months has not been bad. Apparently the government is identifying key basic issues that bother the commoner and is trying to address it. With Chief Minister having her own team – a mix of new faces and those who were around earlier, the new government has already placed officials of its choice at places it requires them. Gradually the cabinet meetings are becoming sort of a platform where key issues are discussed beyond the routine transfers and the postings.
While it is too early to judge the new government’s decision-making, implementation and the delivery process because it is still in the so-called honeymoon period – in which normally populist measures are a routine, there are certain things that needs serious consideration.
Over the years in successive regimes, two tribes are playing key role in sustaining the democracy debate and the governance showmanship – the political agents and the contractors. While the political beings have been key element in managing mobilization, it is the contractor that has been playing a crucial role in the public spending.
There is no denial of the fact that the political beings are key to the political activity. But the day, the political being at ground zero becomes a middle-man in governance and service delivery; it punctures the process of normal governance. Political beings should contribute to the smoothening of the system that helps quick, rational and indiscriminate delivery of the services. But they are playing the role of arbitrators in service delivery which blocks possibility of a change. Managing this becomes tricky for any political party but for a better change this practice must end. Let citizens get what they are entitled to without any middlemen.
Similarly, the entire development process has to be driven by priority at ground zero and not dictated by the powerful contractor lobby. Contractors are key to the public spending especially on the development side but they should be engaged with proper implementation and not fixing priorities in the expenditure strategy. Education department must share its pains and pathos that has created a massive deficit in its infrastructure management. So should the rural development do by assessing its asset making under schemes that are quite popular in the rest of India unlike J&K.
Right now when the government is busy planning its budget for the next three quarters, it should somehow keep in mind the efficient ways and means of improving expenditures and blocking leakages.
It is a fact that the coalition government ministers are trying to pick the threads to improve what they had delivered in the alliance’s earlier 10-month period, the fact is that the system is still sleepy. It is just a group in political and administrative executive that is working. The system needs some sort of reorientation to get it to work. There is no harm if good work is incentivized.