Having a responsive government is a perpetual wish of all the citizens in India. The government must ensure ease of accessibility, faster grievance redressal, quality services and use of technology to promote e-governance. In this tenth article in the Maharashtra series, we do a fact check on the people-centric policies of the Fadnavis government.
Promise– An e-portal and mobile app Aaple Sarkar will be launched within the first 100 days. Through this portal and app, people could lodge their complaints and make suggestions. The government will take note of them.
This has been the most successful e-governance initiative of the Maharashtra government. The response from the people has been phenomenal and the complaints resolved have been large. This portal has brought the government closer to the people.
The portal has achieved the following-
- 39 Departments have been covered
- 398 services are included under it
- 754,89,398 applications have been received out of which 733,69,325 applications have been resolved.
Promise- The Maharashtra Public Service Assurance Act will be enacted which will ensure that people will get their work with the government, done in a stipulated time frame. If it does not get completed in the stipulated time, the citizen will be compensated
This has been the second most successful decision of the government. Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Act, 2015 has been passed. It lists the services and the time frame in which they will be fulfilled. It proposes penalties on officers who can’t complete the service in time. It sets up Right to Service Commission and appellate authorities to ensure grievance redressal.
Currently, 379 facilities in 25 departments are under the act. More will be notified.
Promise- To curb corruption and bring transparency in government offices, the work of all government offices will be digitized. People will get relevant information and documents such as land record of farmers, through the internet.
Maharashtra is leading the digital revolution in the country.
- Digitization of 2.42 crore ration cards has been completed out of which 1.43 crore ration cards are seeded to Aadhaar. This will ease Public Distribution System (PDS)
- Maharashtra has launched digitization of all 7/12 records of lands to facilitate farmers.
- The recent launched loan waiver got multiple applications through the digital format. This has saved Rs 12,000 crores for the state as it weeded out ghost beneficiaries.
- Maharashtra has launched the scheme for digitization of Gram Panchayats. Till 2018, 15000 Gram Panchayats have been digitized and in the next year, another 14000 would be digitized. This will ensure better health, education and e-governance facilities in villages.
- Under the Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra Programme, a total of 63,458 schools have been digitized, six times more than those in 2015.
Promise- Performance-audits will be done of every government department to encourage accountability in the administration.
No specific action has been taken.
Promise- There will be a policy to ensure that paperwork and settlements are completed on the day of retirement of the employees of the state government and semi-government undertakings in the state.
No record could be found of any such decision.
Speedy judicial process; Justice for everyone!
Promise- Special arrangements will be made for speedy judicial process.
The promise has been achieved by fulfilling the promises mentioned below.
Promise- Computerization of High courts, District courts and Taluka courts will be done on a priority basis.
Considerable success has been achieved in the digitization of district and taluka courts. One can now check the status of the case, the progress and judgment in the case.
Moreover, Maharashtra has aggressively pursued the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System, wherein the system allows sharing of information across agencies, police, forensic labs and courts.
Promise- The numbers of benches of the high court will be increased. Evening courts will function in every district. Courts will function in two shifts.
Evening courts are not functional in every district. No specific decision on two shifts.
Promise- False cases filed against farmers, Dalits, DT and NT people, traders and political activists out of vendetta politics in the last 15 years will be withdrawn.
Not specifically for certain sections, the Maharashtra government sought withdrawal of cases that included false claims, faulty chargesheets and documents.
Promise- There will be a scheme to dispose long-pending cases for minor crimes.
No specific scheme or action has been taken in this regard.
Promise– Setting up special mobile courts in rural areas and schemes such as courts for crimes against women, courts to resolve land disputes in the rural areas, will be taken up to save valuable time and money of the people.
Mobile courts have existed before in Maharashtra. No special announcement has been done in that regard. Recently, Maharashtra has announced to set up 16 new special courts.
Saving the co-operative sector... Safeguarding members
Promise- A new act will be in place for modernizing and strengthening the cooperative sector and bringing efficiency, financial discipline, transparency and accountability to it.
No new law has been passed.
- To curb corruption in co-operative sector, special provisions will be made to punish and recover dues from corrupt officials and directors.
- Legal provisions will be made for enabling transparent, corruption-free and effective operations in cooperative credit societies.
A bill was introduced in the assembly to give more powers to the state to punish corrupt officials in various cooperatives in field of sugar, cotton, milk, banking, etc.
Specifically for credit societies, the above bill plans to create a regulatory body, overview on disbursal of loans, checking whether loans are being disbursed to relatives, ensuring uniform interest rate, etc.
A similar investigation is being carried out in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank and some big leaders have been named in the FIR.
Promise- A separate regulation for the independent functioning of cooperative housing societies will be introduced.
Recently, an amendment was introduced to allow independent elections in cooperative housing societies having members below 200. This will reduce regulatory burden of the State Cooperative Election Authority.
Promise- Relaxation of norms related to deemed conveyance procedures.
Deemed Conveyance is the transfer of ownership right of a property from the builder to the residents/ housing society after the builder finishes the project.
Rules were amended and getting Deemed Conveyance (DC) has become easy. Earlier 12 documents were required, now its only 8. It is now decided that a housing society will get DC even if the builder hasn’t got an Occupation Certificate (OC) from the municipal body. Moreover, under the Right to Service Act 2015, the time frame of getting a DC is placed at six months.
Promise- Group farming will be encouraged by providing seeds and fertilizers to such groups on a priority basis.
A pilot scheme for group farming was introduced for 2017-18 and 2018-19. The aim is to promote collective procurement of inputs like seeds and fertilizers. It aims to double farmers’ income by 2022.
Under the scheme, a group of minimum 20 farmers will be formed, having a pooled land of more than 100 acres. Financial assistance of one crore rupees would be given. The Economic Survey 2018-19 of Maharashtra says that in the two years, 400 such groups were formed with a total disbursal of 76.96 crores.
Promise- Plan to revive non-functional cooperative societies and banks, which will protect the interests of members.
Two panels are formed to suggest measures to revive the cooperative sector in Maharashtra as a way to promote rural development.