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November 25, 2019 10:28:00 |

Getting rid of treasury

A slew of editorials on corruption in government offices were published in this newspaper in the last couple of years. As a concern that has assumed such proportion that the entire government machinery has become a curse, it will always find space and expression in columns, editorials and public rancor. Corrupt officials present the rot in the governance that although spotted long time ago has been allowed to fester and be institutionalized. Every year crores of rupees from government funds go into the pockets of corrupt officials with the culture of passing bills on commission basis. In the loot of the exchequer, the treasury officials are not the only ones to be blamed as dirty officials (involved in graft cases) working in different government offices from clerk to the head of the department have promoted a system that reeks of moral and professional degradation. Under this system, the bills are manipulated, often inflated to grease the palms of the officials who pass them without even verifying the details or needed records/receipts. Necessary formalities are avoided, and at times even to reduce the red tape, officials are ready to pay the dirty ones at the treasury offices. This faulty system, as we have seen, cannot be fixed by audits or an increased level of monitoring. It requires a more transparent and efficient system to plug the holes from which the wealth of the territory gets siphoned-off into the coffers of dirty officials. A working solution may be to introduce a direct bill forwarding system linked to the finance department, something on the lines of online billing system. That way different government offices and units can bypass the treasury system and be directly accountable and linked to the finance department. As all formalities happen to be essentially data based – receipts, bills, vouchers or any other records can be easily uploaded as digital scanned files and forwarded to the appropriate department for clearance. Though it would require internet, but that thing can be taken care of by the government, as the ban is only temporary. It also makes sense since filing taxes under the new online system has brought relief to millions of people and eliminated the intermediary tax gurus who used to manipulate the system. The direct billing system would not only save the money that otherwise is illegally acquired by dirty officials but will also help in reducing the burden on the exchequer. In the language of good governance and administration, the punishment of dirty officials may not solve the problem permanently. However, a transparent and better system of billing may do wonders.  

               

November 25, 2019 10:28:00 |

Getting rid of treasury

              

A slew of editorials on corruption in government offices were published in this newspaper in the last couple of years. As a concern that has assumed such proportion that the entire government machinery has become a curse, it will always find space and expression in columns, editorials and public rancor. Corrupt officials present the rot in the governance that although spotted long time ago has been allowed to fester and be institutionalized. Every year crores of rupees from government funds go into the pockets of corrupt officials with the culture of passing bills on commission basis. In the loot of the exchequer, the treasury officials are not the only ones to be blamed as dirty officials (involved in graft cases) working in different government offices from clerk to the head of the department have promoted a system that reeks of moral and professional degradation. Under this system, the bills are manipulated, often inflated to grease the palms of the officials who pass them without even verifying the details or needed records/receipts. Necessary formalities are avoided, and at times even to reduce the red tape, officials are ready to pay the dirty ones at the treasury offices. This faulty system, as we have seen, cannot be fixed by audits or an increased level of monitoring. It requires a more transparent and efficient system to plug the holes from which the wealth of the territory gets siphoned-off into the coffers of dirty officials. A working solution may be to introduce a direct bill forwarding system linked to the finance department, something on the lines of online billing system. That way different government offices and units can bypass the treasury system and be directly accountable and linked to the finance department. As all formalities happen to be essentially data based – receipts, bills, vouchers or any other records can be easily uploaded as digital scanned files and forwarded to the appropriate department for clearance. Though it would require internet, but that thing can be taken care of by the government, as the ban is only temporary. It also makes sense since filing taxes under the new online system has brought relief to millions of people and eliminated the intermediary tax gurus who used to manipulate the system. The direct billing system would not only save the money that otherwise is illegally acquired by dirty officials but will also help in reducing the burden on the exchequer. In the language of good governance and administration, the punishment of dirty officials may not solve the problem permanently. However, a transparent and better system of billing may do wonders.  

               

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