Bureaucratic dissonance

For some time in the past, we have been regularly inviting the attention of the State Government to a blatant administrative flaw that puts the State at some disadvantage. The flaw pertains to State’s inability of implementing a multitude of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in time. At times, sharp dissonance between the State Government and the concerned Union Ministry has also been witnessed. We have been regularly asking the State administration to go to the roots of this discrepancy and set it right. We have been wondering why the administration is not heeding the warning. The prospect of leaving a Centrally Sponsored Scheme or plan half way or abandoning it altogether is painful as far as the common man is concerned. After all the people of the State do not want to remain deprived of the benefits of new schemes envisaged by the Union Government for the betterment of vast number of people in the country. A Centrally Sponsored Scheme fully implemented by other states and found beneficial to the people, how come that our Government in the State is oblivious of this troth and allows the people to remain deprived of its benefits. Many a time, this stalemate gives rise to many hurting questions which would never rise if the schemes were implemented in letter and in spirit. Years roll by and the State remains deprived of many new projects, certainly for no fault of either the Central Government or the people and structure in the State.
It is after a long time that the General Administration Department has awoken from slumber, and to its great surprise and consternation, has found that the real cause of the flaw lies in the administration itself and not to extraneous agencies. It has come to our notice that there is dissonance among important departments that are directly concerned with the successful induction of Centrally Sponsored new schemes and projects. Many departments while submitting new schemes do not get the clearance from two important departments, namely Finance, Planning and Monitoring. Without the concurrence of these departments, no guarantee can be there whether any fresh project or scheme will be provided with financial security. In many Centrally Sponsored Schemes the State is required to pay its share even though small one. Only the Finance and Planning Departments can certify whether the State will be able to contribute its share of expenditure or not.  Actually the departments of Finance, Planning and Monitoring are almost inter-disciplinary departments that have to concur before a new scheme is accepted for implementation. This, therefore, explains the system that is in place and has to be observed. Since that is not done and the Finance Department and Planning Department are left in dark, all difficulties appear suddenly that have a bearing on the implementation of a fresh centrally sponsored scheme.
It is in the light of this background that the General Administration Department had to issue a notification to all administrative departments to ensure that they obtain clearance from Finance, Planning and Monitoring Departments before initiating implementation of a fresh scheme. This hitherto unnoticed lacuna came to the notice of the Chief Secretary in a meeting of the State Empowered Programme Committee. Taking notice of this bureaucratic dissonance, the Chief Secretary instructed the GAD to circulate a note to all departments.
We certainly appreciate the decision of the Chief Secretary to streamline the system and remove the bottlenecks. However, we would like to stress upon the Chief Secretary to galvanize the Planning Department into action so that it makes periodic reports on the progress of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. In final analysis, while appreciating the measure of directing departments to take Finance and Planning departments on board, we hope that this long entrenched deficiency will be overcome and most of the difficulties in fully implementing Centrally Sponsored Schemes will be overcome.