Disclaimer: The ideas mentioned below are strictly the output of author’s mental churning and bears no resemblance (or an intention to resemble) to the idea existing elsewhere. Neither does this post criticize the ways the current government is functioning, nor does it advice on the ways it should be (there’s no sedition here). If at all the reader feels , that there’s more to it than just a “casual rant”, well then, it might just be it.
There’s always been this thought on my mind – what if I were the Prime Minister of this country? What would I have done differently so that people wouldn’t have to constantly complain about the very little things affecting their lives on a daily basis (a lot of them are indeed – genuine concerns). All this would be only possible – if I won the elections, got a majority support, supportive colleagues etc. This would be considered highly improbable (maybe impossible), but for the sake of this post, let’s just ignore that and plough on.
So, I thought – let me put down my ideas on paper, so that maybe one day, when there’s a need for me to refer to something – I could look up this post.
I would begin by listing “corruption” as the biggest hurdle this country currently faces. Thereby my efforts would revolve around eliminating this very “evil element” in our society. My efforts would be aided by a series of reforms in the way we conduct our daily business – trying to cut down on the ways one could demand a “service fee” & bringing down the unaccountable money, which up until now was carefully hidden away from the government’s eyes.
Abolish the “big notes” or the “heavy currency”.
By taking out all the high-value denomination currency from circulation, we could essentially cut out people demanding bribe (or at least bring it down significantly). Only currency notes/bills up to Rs.10 would be available in circulation. Anything above that simply would have to be settled electronically or by the means of multiple 10 rupee notes/bills. Imagine a government clerk demanding a 5000 rupee bribe from you for a new electricity connection. He would literally have to carry a big sack full of money back home at the end of the day. Now, that would attract a lot of eyeballs, if he continues to do it on a regular basis. Say, even if he manages to do that – the next reform (mandate an all-electronic transaction policy) would render all his ill-earned wealth practically useless.
Mandate an all-electronic transaction policy.
By mandating an all-electronic transaction policy, we could virtually make all money transactions/transfers visible to the government. This would mean – a bigger revenue to the government in the form of tax as well as limiting the crooks from stashing away their wealth as black money. This would mean extended usage of credit/debit/prepaid cards as well as usage of other electronic transfer facilities. Those who cannot afford to have a credit/debit card, could open an account with the local post-office (another avenue for tremendous growth) & operate on prepaid cards. This would also mean a huge overhead on the banks and financial institutions in the form of additional infrastructure, training as well operational cost. But then the government could pitch in to absorb some of these costs in the form of subsidies, thereby profiting from the process in the longer run. to make this practical, only financial transaction of above 50 rupees would need to be performed electronically.
Issue an unique Social Identity Number (SIN) to every citizen & mandate it’s usage everywhere.
Now, that we have the reforms in place to check corruption & black money, introducing the concept of Social Identity Number (SIN), would make this initiative a weapon with real tooth. Any form of registration or service solicitation – be it government or private, would require the SIN to be mentioned during the process. This would practically help the government in maintaining a database with a single key per citizen, to keep a record of all his activities (nearly all). No more – double identity, multiple instances of claiming government benefits or assumed personalities. What you do, is what we have here – so beware!!
Now that, we have the reforms in place, let’s rock & bring back the olden days of “glory & gold”!!