Governance Transparency

Zee News, Zee Exclusive
October 07, 2010

In times when one is used to hearing the term 'governance deficit' more often especially due to the current crisis in the Kashmir Valley, the term 'governance transparency' comes as a surprise. No doubt that the former would have made a catchier headline but, the latter too deserves attention.

Two recent events are noteworthy. First, when the all-party delegation of MPs visited Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground level situation there, all discussions including those with the separatists were recorded and broadcast. It is not that this happened for the first time but, the underlying message is very important. It brings transparency into the system. It makes the people in positions of power accountable to the public at large; to the very people who shall actually get affected by the decisions made.

Second, the Finance Ministry recently released a new Ministry publication called the Budget Manual. This Manual assumes significance as it brings into the public domain the process of Budget making, a process that has been a secret for many including some government officials. By taking this step, the government may be able to bring more transparency and accountability into the Budget making process. Also, it shall reduce the level of speculation in the stock market or corporate world in the days leading to the Budget announcement.

The UPA government should be given credit for taking such significant steps. In the recent past it introduced the Right To Information Act that empowered the common man with the right to ask the government some questions. Then came the Unique Identification project. If implemented properly, it can usher in an era of inclusion and empowerment of even the weakest and poorest sections of our society. This programme has the capability to plug leakages and other loopholes in the State machinery by bringing transparency into the tracking system.

India has some very good systems in place. There is no dearth of talent in our country. Still, we are not able to progress at a rate that we can. This is because of the loopholes in our systems of governance. It is only when transparency and accountability is brought into the system, can there be any hope of growing faster. RTI, UID, Budget Manual and the likes are great steps in that direction but, a lot more needs to be done.

Though there are many areas that need improvement, the most important one to make a start would be to bring in transparency and accountability into the functioning of our politicians. It should become compulsory for all politicians to state their areas of responsibility and their quarterly targets on their official websites. At the end of each quarter, they should share their progress report, citing reasons for their failures, if any. Such reports should be constantly monitored by higher authorities and appropriate action should be taken against defaulters. If implemented, this step shall go a long way in improving the way government functions.

It shall be a long and hard journey from a state of 'governance deficit' to that of 'governance surplus'. Nevertheless, it would be a journey worth taking. Hope the government is listening.


Yes, certainly there has to be transparency in governance.

A governance deficit to a governance surplus unless transparency and accountability are implemented fervently by the powers that be. My only point of slight divergence from the writer's well written article is that greatere emphasis on transparency and accountability in the judiciary should be placed, as one "corrupt judge" is worse than a thousand corrupt politicians.

If the watchdogs are corrupt, there can be no ray of hope for people who are honest and the common citizen.

Abhay Sapru, New Delhi

Stop corruption in govt. polititians, police, govt officers, criminals in politics should be stoped. If we can achieve this every thing will fall in place. Public have to wake up and say no bribe gentleman in each and every place. Polititians will change their character.

Debashis Bhattacharya, UAE

The governance transparency is the issue that is the most powerful issue through right to information act , as transparency needs to be in the working of the government , adminstration , and other developed works to be carried out . As the delegation of the MPs visited Kashmir to asses on the spot situation , similarly due to revolution in the communication our government departments quarterly revenue earning can be assesed within no time as the data is available . Due to RTI every citizen of the country has the right to know the detailed enquiry of any works done or to be carried out . The major role of governance transparency is the internet and that the converted the world into a one global village in regard to the information.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru, Jalandhar, Punjab

Back to Articles