New Delhi, March 20 Noting the difficulties encountered by the common citizen in public offices, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday stressed on the need to streamline essential services and that these services should be availed to public within specific time.
Naidu said that democratic governments should be close to people, be very responsive to their needs and adopt a caring and facilitative role.
"Getting basic services should not be a struggle for the common man. The essential services should be streamlined and citizen charters, like RTI, must clearly specify the time within which any service can be availed," Naidu said while releasing the book 'Bringing Governments and People Closer' by M. Ramachandran, former Secretary.
Naidu added that the ultimate test of good governance is the improvement in the quality of life of the people and that the expectations of the people boil down to "easy, transparent, hassle-free" systems and procedures in public offices, as outlined by the author.
He also agreed with the author that inordinate time-taking processes are the main reason people get hassled in public offices.
Suggesting that this should change by better streamlining, the Vice President also called for greater accountability and time-bound disposal of grievances, using mechanisms like Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).
He also welcomed the author's suggestion of introducing a new 'ease of common man's interaction with government index'.
Naidu also stressed the need for more 'trust based governance', in order to improve facilitation of services.
Complimenting the government for the improvements in this regard, the veteran BJP leader noted that self-attestation is deemed sufficient for many documents now, as are digital documents.
He cited the instance of tax reforms, which brought in faceless assessment and appeals, eliminating the physical interface between tax authorities and taxpayers.
Naidu also observed that technological advancements have brought governments closer to people and that with initiatives like Digital India, Aadhar-linked bank accounts, the use of geo-tagging to monitor schemes like Swachh Bharat, technology has proved to be a game-changer in governance.
While calling for more such innovations, the Vice President stressed that due attention must be paid to not exclude even a single citizen.
In this regard, he suggested the extensive use of more Indian languages in all aspects of governance. Languages understood by people must be used in offices, schools, courts and public places, he underlined.
( With inputs from IANS )
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