Jun 5, 2010

Red Tape , Strong State; Who really benefits?

Just read Muse Nepal's post Cable Car Statism.  Loved it. The blogger has pointed out our concern to a very serious issue. The cable car case is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many cases where good intentions and motivations of entrepreneurs to bring growth and prosperity have been thwarted by the red tapism and bureaucratic hassles nurtured by the state.

So it is especially maddening to read  about the bureaucratic red tape faced by a new request made by Chitwan Co-E to build a new cable car operation in Pokhara. The request has to first go through the Ministry of Development, which formed a committee to decide if it was a good idea. After their prolonged preliminary report is completed, the request is passed on to the National Planning Commission which again forms its own committee to give its blessing before the project is finally approved by the government.
Trust me , the chance of the company of getting the approval is rather slim if there is any. Without passing some illicit funds to the pockets of all the bureaucrats involved , the project will never be approved. Who cares if we love the service provided by the company? Who cares how many local residents of Manakama temple premises have prospered due to the cable car? Who cares how many more people would be benefited if there were to be a new cable car operation in Pokhara? If there had been prevalence of any common sense at all , the project would not have been approved but would have got an encouragement, but the narrow self-interest and whim of the bureaucracy doesn't care at all. Another major cases of such red tapism and bureaucracy is the approval of hydro power projects. We have heard so many cases of local companies being denied of the license whereas we are facing power crisis in such a severe form.

Whenever I talk about canceling licensing system and cutting down bureaucratic hassles, the primary question raised is : And who will check about the intentions of the entrepreneurs? Without licensing and bureaucratic process, wouldn't thugs rule the scenario? Wouldn't some evil hydro power projects take away all our resources? What if the cable car cheated people or constructed the infrastructures poorly?  blah blah blah..

Doesn't it sound funny that people always complain so much about corruption and yet naively believe that bureaucrats and policy makers work for their best? Isn't it funny that people love using cable cars and yet question the morality of the entrepreneur involved whereas they never question the morality of the bureaucrats who have nothing to do with the consequences of their decisions?

THINK AGAIN:
Red Tape, Strong State; Who really benefits??