Reforming bureaucracy: There’s no easy solution

People are amused and at times, distressed, how bureaucracy functions in India.  It is understandably difficult for the outside observer to pin down the crux of the problems – of corruption, lethargic decision-making and general inertia that are evidently keeping this institution from delivering. It is clearly frustrating for the average Indian to pay taxes to sustain this huge, apparently useless institution whose members seem to only abuse power and enjoy perks and do no good, or not enough, at any rate. Various analysts have narrowed down the problem to low salaries, fear of the vigilance and audit machinery.

The difficulty is there is no easy formula to tackle these problems.  Very often decisive bureaucrats are subject to malicious inquiries to teach them a lesson and to reign them in or even as convenient scapegoats. It is up to the government to rehaul these bodies and to severely punish those found to have abetted the harassment of upright bureaucrats, either deliberately, or because of their sheer indifference or carelessness.

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