The Punjab government’s efforts to clamp down on corruption, at the offices of district transport officers (DTOs), seems to have gone horribly wrong. In an attempt to curb graft, particularly when new vehicles are registered, the government had privatised the service by assigning the responsibility of issuing numbers and registration certificates (RCs), to auto dealers. This, however, does not seem to have made a difference. Not only are customers being forced to dish out money, over and above the government fees and taxes, but they are also being charged an additional amount for non-fancy numbers. All this is being done on the pretext that the DTOs, who sign the RCs and files, do not move a file without a bribe. To make matters worse, customers do not know where to complain as auto dealers are not public servants. Some SAD leaders, privately though, admit that the new system must have some checks and balances as despite its ostensible lofty ideals, it has begun earning the government a bad name.
This is Hurryana!
While the Haryana government took more than two weeks to decide on the transfers and posting of senior officers, after eight IAS officers were elevated to the rank of financial commissioners, and has kept important decisions hanging for weeks, it showed remarkable speed on an issue that has been a thorn in its flesh. When the Haryana Backward Classes Commission recently submitted its report regarding reservation for Jats and four other communities, the file moved at breakneck speed. While the commission submitted it at 3 pm in the afternoon, the state cabinet cleared it within two hours at 5 pm. The chief secretary showed the same commitment as his bosses and forwarded the recommendations to the Centre, the very next day. Alas! If only the government shows the same spirit with other decisions that warrant its immediate attention!
With his party in the news recently and not always for the right reasons, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has blamed it on the “Akali fixation” of not just the Opposition but the media as well. “Whenever a incident happens, it makes a good story if you write an Akali leader. I was just watching a national news channel doing the same. Among those of you sitting here, many would have voted for the Akali Dal. Are you also Akalis now,” he asked media