[Answered] What is Red Tapism? Discuss its consequences and suggest some measures to reduce it.

Demand of the question Introduction. What is Red Tapism? Body. Discuss the consequences of Red Tapism and suggest some measures to reduce it. Conclusion. Way forward.

Red Tapism refers to excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant and bureaucratic and hinders action or decision-making. In other words, these are burdensome rules, providing no added value. It includes unnecessary paperwork, obtaining licenses, having multiple people or committees approve a decision and various low-level rules that make conducting one’s affairs slower, more difficult.

Consequences of Red Tapism:

  1. Citizen satisfaction: Red tape indeed negatively affects citizen satisfaction. Citizens remain dissatisfied due to delayed government processing and cost associated with it. Most of the time citizen’s problems remain unresolved due to red Tapism, leading to a sense of loss of trust in the government’s process.
  2. Scheme implementation: Every new governmental scheme gets roadblocks in terms of red Tapism that eventually kills the larger objective by which it was launched. Delayed release of funds, lack of proper monitoring etc. are common associated issues attached to Red Tapism that make policies ineffective.
  3. Corruption: A World Bank study found that the higher the level of red Tapism, the higher the level of corruption. Bureaucracy invariably breeds corruption and lowers growth by complicating the normal flow of businesses. Paying a bribe to speed up the handling of the procedure is a typical example of Red Tapism associated corruption.
  4. Increased cost of doing business: Red tape is costly, not just in time and money spent filling out forms but also in terms of reduced productivity and innovation in business. This is particularly burdensome to smaller businesses and may even discourage people from starting up a new business.
  5. Governance: Due to Red Tapism variable enforcement of contracts and delayed administration lead to delayed justice, especially to the poor. The burden of red tape requirements prevent many to enjoy their rights due to delayed governance and delayed distribution of welfare measures. For example, delayed wage payments under MGNREGA impact timely benefits to por.

Measures to reduce Red Tapism:

  1. Reforming laws: Reducing administrative burdens should be a part of making good laws. This objective also contributes to making administrative cultures more responsible and service-oriented. For example, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has helped in reducing Red Tapism regarding insolvency of a business unit, enhancing overall business sentiments. Further many redundant laws have been scrapped, making India achieving a 63rd spot in World bank’s Ease of doing business.
  2. Involving states: Governments also need to consider ways in which sub-national levels of government can be incorporated into the administrative simplification and regulatory quality process. Administrative simplification programmes have focused primarily on regulations emanating from the central government. However lower levels of government can be responsible for imposing significant administrative burdens and requirements on businesses and citizens.
  3. Reduce the paperwork: Computers have already made many of the government services faster. It is a way forward to decrease the red tape. Capacity building in IT and communications is required at all the levels of the government, top to bottom. For example, the government has launched National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency known as Invest India that helps investors looking for investment, to reduce red Tapism. Another such initiative is paperless green clearance that will reduce paperwork and is environmentally friendly.
  4. Skill development: There are officials who are not skilled enough to make government processing faster. It is important to train them properly on the subjects and appoint skilled people.
  5. Incentives: A lot of government employees at the lower level (Group-C and Group D) are underpaid. They find no incentive to work efficiently. Efforts must be made to honour workers for their good work and punishing for not achieving timely efficiency.

Red Tapism hinders good governance and the country’s economic progress. It leads to a culture of corruption and inefficiency. Efforts must be made to make rules and regulations simple with emphasis on reducing delays in government work culture.

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