Day 60 – Q 5.Can technology alone address the problems related to utilisation of public funds in India? Critically examine.
5. Can technology alone address the problems related to utilisation of public funds in India? Critically examine. .
क्या भारत में सार्वजनिक धन के उपयोग से संबंधित समस्याओं का समाधान अकेले प्रौद्योगिकी कर सकती है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
The expenditure of the central government has increased from Rs 3.3 lakh crore in 2000-01 to Rs 24.4 lakh crore in 2018-19. This translates to an expenditure of about Rs 20,000 per person. With the objective of improving the quality of life of citizens, these public funds are spent across various sectors such as defence, security, agriculture, health, social welfare, education, and infrastructure.
Role of technology in governance:
- Information: Making available to the public with objective and reliable information on the activities of public authorities, which strengthens the credibility of the state and its politics.
- Interaction: Interaction and ongoing dialogue with the citizens of the state and public institutions, as well as the necessary level of public control over activities of state bodies and organizations;
- Services: Integration of information resources and services of state and local governments to strengthen national information space;
- Optimizing resources: Improving public administration, optimizing the structure of the state apparatus, reducing the financial and material costs for its maintenance, a gradual transfer of government services that have value in a system of government online services that meets the real needs of citizens and organizations;
- Financial support: Effectively support the economic activities of public entities that are engaged in economic activities, allowing them to effectively integrate into a national and global economic space.
Measures to address the problems related to utilisation of public funds in India:
- Economic justice: The allocation of funds in welfare schemes like poverty alleviation, subsidies and efficient targeting of the beneficiaries to direct these funds brings income equality. Pradhan Manri Ujjwala Scheme for instance provides LPG subsidies under Direct Benefit Transfer avoiding leakages and fraudulent resulted in economic independence to women.
- Social Justice: public money can be well spent on upliftment of weaker sections specially SC, ST, women and old age. Example Sukanya Smridhi yojana, Start up India.
- Equity: More focus should be given on equity compared to equality; equity justifies the problems and solutions.
- Members of Parliament: MPs have a core role in examining how this money is being raised, how it is planned to be spent, and whether such spending would lead to desired outcomes.
- MPs hold the government accountable for use of public funds in two stages: Firstly, before the beginning of each year, they scrutinise and approve the Union Budget which contains the expenditure priorities, taxation proposals, and borrowing requirements for the upcoming financial year. Second, they examine the audit reports on the approved spending to see whether the allocation was used effectively and appropriately.
- Financial Committees: They will scrutinise and exercise parliamentary control over government expenditure and table reports in Parliament.
- Accountability: Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office
- Targeted approach: For the sake of funds being availed only by the beneficiary, it is important to have a targeted approach so that no leaks occur in between.
- Transparency and openness: Interaction and cooperation with government authorities in other countries and international organizations.
- Objectivity: In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Taxpayer’s money should be use for public development works not for a private and personal dispute because defamation/slander, making wrong statements, maligning anybody is totally a personal offence or a personal civil case.