Bureaucracy a big hurdle in Make in India Programme

bureaucracy-a-big-hurdle-in-make-in-india-programme

By: – Kumar Aniket for Times Headline.com
Make in India week has started with big band in Mumbai and all seems good to everyone. It is great that India has a prime minister who is showing interest in business the way western heads of state have always shown. Indian Prime Minister has always tried to keep a distance from business as tried to look more like Statesman. This approach has not worked well and has resulted in denial of several opportunities for business. Foreign heads of state have never shied about bringing business with them on visits and have always tried to act as salesmen of their nations for business deals. US & UK heads of state always tried to sell their wares to all countries using visits and there is nothing wrong in it. Indian Prime Minister has been doing a good job and has attracted serious interest in Indian business. He has single mindedly focused on create a manufacturing hub in India. His determination deserves praise and is getting him attention of businessman.

I have this funny feeling about make in India programme because of bureaucratic red tape. It is really a good initiative and there is serious need to give boost to manufacturing. All this attention has generated interest, which needs to be converted into reality with careful planning and making policies, which support manufacturing. Now at this stage baton will be handed over to Indian Bureaucracy, which has a record of consistent failure. I personally feel that our bureaucracy is riddled with communists and profiteers divided into several small fiefdoms who are fearful of losing their fiefdoms if Prime Minister’s promises are delivered.
Indian Bureaucracy is the real reason behind dismal growth of India and it is British Raj behemoth, with no sense of national pride. On the one side Prime Minister is making huge personal effort to promote domestic manufacturing, whereas on the other hand bureaucracy is busy trying to sabotage everything with complicated policies and overlapping jurisdictions. Profiteers and Communists hidden in bureaucracy are already trying to sabotage it. I will cite the case of Made in India Heart valves (please read my earlier blog on Heart Valves), which have been delayed by four and half years waiting for bureaucratic approvals. I do not say that approvals should be dispensed with as strict control, is essential to build Brand India and are always beneficial in the long run. What I mean to say is that strict timelines and responsibilities should be fixed for giving such approvals and bureaucrats sitting on the files should be fired for non-performance.
Another funny thing with us Indians is that we always try to focus on import substitutes. I have heard rumors that Shri Narendra Modi has personally asked our bureaucrats to identify import items, which can be made in India. This approach has been here for some time and factories for items like Sponge Iron have been opened across India in 90s. Trouble with this approach is that it shifts attention away from competitiveness and infrastructure. What we need to do is build huge Manufacturing zones like China’s SEZs with complete infrastructure like Warehousing, Supply Chain and provide for fast track approvals with timelines. We will be amazed to see China’s SEZs, which make tiny Indian ones look like jokes. Chinese SEZ spans across several districts not few thousand square feets like Indian SEZs. Supply Chain & Warehousing is key to sustainable development of manufacturing Industries. Furthermore, Government needs to take care of its the infamous red tape through introduction

Prime Minister Modi is already taking about Judicial & Administrative reforms as he understand that major hurdle to India’s growth is inefficient systems. MNCs are afraid of Indian judicial process and system, where things are delayed for time immemorial. During the inauguration speech at make in India event, he said “We have already enacted a law for fast-tracking of arbitration proceedings. We are establishing dedicated commercial courts and commercial division in High Courts.

The transformation of the company tribunal is in the final stages.” Here I want to point out that Arbitration process have been corrupted by Indian judiciary, which prefers appointing retired judges as Arbitrators, which is impractical and defeats the very purpose of enactment of Arbitration and Conciliation Act. We need to pass an amendment to ensure the independence of the Arbitrator and appointment of businessman and professionals as Arbitrators and banning appointment of Lawyers or Judges as Arbitrators. Prime Minister also stated that intellectual property rights policy is in its final stages. Hope it is not old vine in new bottle as some of the incentives of Startup India were.

India needs to reignite the flame of manufacturing in the country, which has been extinguished by vested interest to promote mineral export and imports on fat commissions. It is laughable that Indian has not been able to develop a decent Aircraft though it has succeeded in building a successful space programme. The cause lies in Public Sector and apathy of bureaucracy, which does not care for the national pride. China was able to develop competence by resorting to reverse engineering. Our SMEs have been slowly dying because of poor government policy and lack of funding. Our Banks have been nationalized to remove money lending and promote domestic manufacturing. But our nationalized banks have failed to meet the needs of SME. Technology is also a big problem for Indian manufacturing.
Our Universities have failed to build strong partnerships with Industry like western universities. This is caused by our outdated syllabus courtesy a regulatory body, which controls syllabus but fails to match pace with changing global scenario. Our own HRD Ministry data says that more than 80% of our technical graduates are not employable. Now, whose fault is this. This is responsibility of UGC to maintain syllabus, which has failed to make it relavant with changing times. What is needed is to energize our Universities by making them free to make their own syllabus and allow them to compete with each other. Private Sector Universities can really leverage this opportunity and force government universities to perish or keep pace with them. UGC can limit its role to a strict controller of quality and can focus on fake universities and other qualitative aspects.

Government also needs to shift gear of Skill Development programmes to focus on skills, which help in creating a talent pool of manufacturing Industries. Currently, skill development programmes are focused on Security Guards, which is not relevant, as Security Agencies are required by law to have training centers in every state as a precondition for getting license. Funding such companies to meet their statutory obligations shows the ingenuity of Indian business man and corrupt IAS lobby, which leaves no chance to siphon away tax payers money. Governments need to focus on manufacturing related skills, which will require it to look beyond known racketeers such as FICCI or CII.
Another important factors are building domestic competitiveness. Make in India should not focus Foreign Investments alone. It is great to bring foreign investment but it should not ignore domestic manufacturing. What I want to say that Indian government should focus on promoting domestic manufacturing and best way to do it can be streamlining and approval processes for fixing transparent timelines. Introduction of efficient technological tools for assigning responsibility and fixing clear-cut timelines for acceptance or rejection of application can give big boost to Indian System. Indian bureaucratic system needs a complete reboot. Indian government should look at its bureaucracy and should seriously consider removing lifetime employment of bureaucrats and or for Contractual employment. It will enable the government to terminate non-performing officers. Junior Officers should be offered lifetime employment and all Gazetted officers should be asked to shift to contract employment subject to annual performance reviews. Their performance should be measured from the timelines given to them and how they were able to give approvals within those timelines.
What I am asking for is to change the nature of Bureaucracy from Officership to Service. Days of Officers are long gone and time demands for dismantling of Union Public Service Commission and similar bodies to provide for a bureaucracy which is chosen from private talent pool based on their skill sets and not on qualifying some generalist exams. Days of generalists are over specially because these generalists have hindered the growth of India. Powerful IAS lobby is the main cause behind India lagging behind China, Korea and other countries despite starting from a better base in 1950s. Introduction of Socialism and the concept of welfare state has helped the IAS lobby in strengthening their position as PSUs provide them with an opportunity to continue enjoying trappings of senior bureaucratic position without much world after retirement.

What I am talking about is the right to service. Every Indian should be given the right to demand to be served within timelines e.g. Timelines for Incorporation of Company should be fixed for anything from 48 hours to two weeks and the person should be told that his Incorporation Certificate will be issued within maximum time of so many days/weeks. Ministry of Company Affairs should be remodeled on the lines of Board opt Trade of Philippines or its Singapore Counterpart and should be made responsible for arranging other certifications or registrations like PAN Card, VAT Registration and so on. Forms should be keep simple. Other Ministries should also be computerized on the lines of Ministry of Company Affairs and Capacity of MCA and other Ministry sites should be adequately expanded to meet traffic demands. Introduction of similar services by Indian Bureaucracy will give a boost to Indian economy and cause us to merge as World Leaders, which is our position and which is denied to us because of our inefficient bureaucracy.

If government can implement these simple things, then both started ups and startups will thrive under such visionary government. Prime Minister Modi said during inauguration of “ make in india” week that his government will focus on “minimum government and maximum governance”. He has also promised for reduction of red tape, which indicates that he understands that bureaucratic systems are biggest hurdles and is willing to take some bold steps. I wish best of luck to Prime Minister Modi for his vision which is truly great and a.so because road ahead has landmines laid by traitorous bureaucracy.
technology based tools to minimize need for bureaucratic intervention & discretion o the maximum extent.
Prime Minister Modi is already taking about Judicial & Administrative reforms as he understand that major hurdle to India’s growth is inefficient systems. MNCs are afraid of Indian judicial process and system, where things are delayed for time immemorial. During the inauguration speech at make in India event, he said “We have already enacted a law for fast-tracking of arbitration proceedings. We are establishing dedicated commercial courts and commercial division in High Courts. The transformation of the company tribunal is in the final stages.” Here I want to point out that Arbitration process have been corrupted by Indian judiciary, which prefers appointing retired judges as Arbitrators, which is impractical and defeats the very purpose of enactment of Arbitration and Conciliation Act. We need to pass an amendment to ensure the independence of the Arbitrator and appointment of businessman and professionals as Arbitrators and banning appointment of Lawyers or Judges as Arbitrators. Prime Minister also stated that intellectual property rights policy is in its final stages. Hope it is not old vine in new bottle as some of the incentives of Startup India were.
India needs to reignite the flame of manufacturing in the country, which has been extinguished by vested interest to promote mineral export and imports on fat commissions. It is laughable that Indian has not been able to develop a decent Aircraft though it has succeeded in building a successful space programme. The cause lies in Public Sector and apathy of bureaucracy, which does not care for the national pride. China was able to develop competence by resorting to reverse engineering. Our SMEs have been slowly dying because of poor government policy and lack of funding. Our Banks have been nationalized to remove money lending and promote domestic manufacturing. But our nationalized banks have failed to meet the needs of SME. Technology is also a big problem for Indian manufacturing.
Our Universities have failed to build strong partnerships with Industry like western universities. This is caused by our outdated syllabus courtesy a regulatory body, which controls syllabus but fails to match pace with changing global scenario. Our own HRD Ministry data says that more than 80% of our technical graduates are not employable. Now, whose fault is this. This is responsibility of UGC to maintain syllabus, which has failed to make it relavant with changing times. What is needed is to energize our Universities by making them free to make their own syllabus and allow them to compete with each other. Private Sector Universities can really leverage this opportunity and force government universities to perish or keep pace with them. UGC can limit its role to a strict controller of quality and can focus on fake universities and other qualitative aspects.
Government also needs to shift gear of Skill Development programmes to focus on skills, which help in creating a talent pool of manufacturing Industries. Currently, skill development programmes are focused on Security Guards, which is not relevant, as Security Agencies are required by law to have training centers in every state as a precondition for getting license. Funding such companies to meet their statutory obligations shows the ingenuity of Indian business man and corrupt IAS lobby, which leaves no chance to siphon away tax payers money. Governments need to focus on manufacturing related skills, which will require it to look beyond known racketeers such as FICCI or CII.
Another important factors are building domestic competitiveness. Make in India should not focus Foreign Investments alone. It is great to bring foreign investment but it should not ignore domestic manufacturing. What I want to say that Indian government should focus on promoting domestic manufacturing and best way to do it can be streamlining and approval processes for fixing transparent timelines. Introduction of efficient technological tools for assigning responsibility and fixing clear-cut timelines for acceptance or rejection of application can give big boost to Indian System. Indian bureaucratic system needs a complete reboot. Indian government should look at its bureaucracy and should seriously consider removing lifetime employment of bureaucrats and or for Contractual employment. It will enable the government to terminate non-performing officers. Junior Officers should be offered lifetime employment and all Gazetted officers should be asked to shift to contract employment subject to annual performance reviews. Their performance should be measured from the timelines given to them and how they were able to give approvals within those timelines.

What I am asking for is to change the nature of Bureaucracy from Officership to Service. Days of Officers are long gone and time demands for dismantling of Union Public Service Commission and similar bodies to provide for a bureaucracy which is chosen from private talent pool based on their skill sets and not on qualifying some generalist exams. Days of generalists are over specially because these generalists have hindered the growth of India.

Powerful IAS lobby is the main cause behind India lagging behind China, Korea and other countries despite starting from a better base in 1950s. Introduction of Socialism and the concept of welfare state has helped the IAS lobby in strengthening their position as PSUs provide them with an opportunity to continue enjoying trappings of senior bureaucratic position without much world after retirement.

What I am talking about is the right to service. Every Indian should be given the right to demand to be served within timelines e.g. Timelines for Incorporation of Company should be fixed for anything from 48 hours to two weeks and the person should be told that his Incorporation Certificate will be issued within maximum time of so many days/weeks. Ministry of Company Affairs should be remodeled on the lines of Board opt Trade of Philippines or its Singapore Counterpart and should be made responsible for arranging other certifications or registrations like PAN Card, VAT Registration and so on. Forms should be keep simple. Other Ministries should also be computerized on the lines of Ministry of Company Affairs and Capacity of MCA and other Ministry sites should be adequately expanded to meet traffic demands. Introduction of similar services by Indian Bureaucracy will give a boost to Indian economy and cause us to merge as World Leaders, which is our position and which is denied to us because of our inefficient bureaucracy.
If government can implement these simple things, then both started ups and startups will thrive under such visionary government. Prime Minister Modi said during inauguration of “ Make in India” week that his government will focus on “minimum government and maximum governance”. He has also promised for reduction of red tape, which indicates that he understands that bureaucratic systems are biggest hurdles and is willing to take some bold steps. I wish best of luck to Prime Minister Modi for his vision which is truly great and a.so because road ahead has landmines laid by traitorous bureaucracy.

Kumar Aniket is Specialist of Startup & India Entry and Founder of Staava Consultancy

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