Service delivery in India poor: World Bank
New Delhi, June 29 (UNI) The World Bank is critical of the election system in India on the grounds that it impinges adversely on the service delivery of public goods, notwithstanding the fact that innovations in different sectors and states have had positive results on citizens.
''The unregulated cost of elections and the lack of legitimate funding sources (like a system of public funding) have created incentives to extract rents from administrative functions-- including the delivery of services--to fund campaign expenses or pay contribution back,'' a recent report of the Bank says.
The report, entitled 'Reforming Public Services in India--Drawing lessons from success,' focusses on successful innovations in service delivery.
The report cites a national survey of major public services--elementary schools, public hospitals, public transport, drinking water facilities and public food distribution-- by the Public Affairs Centre as having concluded that 'India has done well in terms of providing basic access to such services, but far less well in terms of ensuring their quality, reliability and effectiveness.' But the report in a caustic comment say ''the service delivery outcomes in India remain poor on the whole.'' Apart from highlighting the systemic problems with the delivery of public services, the report commends various Chief Ministers for their efforts in this regard.
Highligting the centrality of the political leadership in triggering service delivery reforms, the report says in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, reforms were frequently a product of the vision of leaders.
''In AP, the fact that the state was led by a politician with a fascination for technology played a role in propelling e-governance reforms. While in MP, the fact that the leader was committed to a vision of governance based on community participation and decentralistaion clearly influenced the choice of reforms during his tenure. In Karnataka, the political leadership sought to transform Bangalore into a leader among cities, using Singapore as a model,'' the report says.
In a similar tone, the report says that at the national level, telecommunication reform was pushed by the Prime Minister's Office as a part of the larger developmental vision aimed initially at technological innovation and then at strengthening India's overall competitiveness in the global economy.
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