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A matter of perception

by IT Web Admin
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The statement made by the Chief Minister of Manipur regarding his participation of the first NITI Aayog at the residence of the Prime Minister reflects a positive change in the outlook of the present state government and an apparent willingness to keep pace with the impending flood of changes being envisaged at the centre. The recent surge in the preparations for developmental activities and the accompanying swiftness of decision making is like a whiff of fresh air for the much disappointed mass who have for long bore the brunt of delayed projects, scraped schemes and stagnating public works, especially in the state.
 The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is a policy think-tank of Union Government of India that replaces Planning Commission of India and aims to involve the states in economic policy-making in India. It will be providing strategic and technical advice to the central and the state governments. Prime Minister of India heads the Aayog as its chairperson. Union Government of India had announced formation of NITI Aayog on 1 January 2015. The new Institution will act more like a think tank or forum and execute programs by taking the States along with them, and effectively enable each of the states to formulate and draw up various plans according to the specific needs and requirements. This is in sharp contrast with the defunct Planning Commission which imposed five-year-plans and allocated resources while running roughshod over the requests and requirements of the various States.
The concerns reportedly raised by the Chief Minister regarding the various requirements of the state at the discussion will hopefully be looked into and measures to address them be taken up, going by the enthusiasm and apparent interest Prime Minister Modi has displayed regarding the development and progress of the North East region. There is, however, a lingering doubt as to the ability, and more importantly, the willingness of the state government and its machineries to implement such proposals if and when they are granted. Contrary to the constant claims of insufficient funds and perennial shortages of resources by the state government, there had been regular reports of huge amounts of funds being recalled by the centre due to the inability of the state government to utilize it in the proper manner and within the stipulated time. Red tape-ism and inexplicable bureaucratic hurdles have rendered many a beneficial schemes useless. Rampant corruption and unwarranted hassles have driven the general public away from even trying to participate in the state-building process. The situation is being increasingly made worse by an unenthusiastic implementation of the various works. Selections for posts are being made on the basis of the candidate’s ability to appease the officials and their proximity to power and not on the ability to perform the task for which the selection is being carried out in the first place.
In the light of the undesirable present state of affairs threatening to throw the governance into disarray and chaos, the public needs to understand how any form of assistance, be it by way of money or materials, can help reverse the slide in public administration and public perception. The government needs to take a long hard look and set its house in order, especially the bureaucrats and officials if it intends to walk the talk.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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