Day 64 – Q.1 Analyze the impact of e-governance initiatives such as e-filing of taxes and online tracking of public services on reducing corruption and promoting transparency.

  • IASbaba
  • January 30, 2023
  • 0
Governance, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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Analyze the impact of e-governance initiatives such as e-filing of taxes and online tracking of public services on reducing corruption and promoting transparency.

भ्रष्टाचार को कम करने और पारदर्शिता को बढ़ावा देने पर करों की ई-फाइलिंग और सार्वजनिक सेवाओं की ऑनलाइन ट्रैकिंग जैसी ई-गवर्नेंस पहलों के प्रभाव का विश्लेषण करें।

Approach –

In this question candidates need to analyse the impact of e governance initiatives such as e filing of taxes and online tracking of public services on reducing corruption and promoting transparency .

Introduction –

  • governance is ubiquitous and broad,nearly every form of government service and its delivery have the potential to fall within the remit of e-tools and services. Government platforms provides transparency portals with information on various government activities and helping reducing corruption and promote transparency.

Body –

Electronic governance or e-governance implies government functioning with the application of ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Hence e-Governance is basically a move towards SMART governance implying: simple, moral, accountable, responsive and transparent governance.

  • The development of e-government has not necessarily been driven by policy goals to prevent or reduce corruption. Nevertheless, an important consequence of the increased use of effective e-government tools is reduced interface with government officials, as well as better documentation.
  • This is relevant to the private sector because companies’ bribery risk assessments often include information on the level and frequency of interactions with public officials in connection with business activity.
  • Such interactions are often classified as potentially presenting increased bribery risks often warranting risk mitigation measures.
  • The alternative to such measures is to reduce or eliminate personal contact with government officials. The presumption is that by removing face-to-face exchanges with public officials, opportunities for bribery will decline or cease altogether.
  • The evolution of the concept of e-government, related definitions and its scope are outlined below, followed by the correlation between corruption and e-government
  • Its purpose is to reduce corruption and increase accountability. It also enables a Citizen Centrist Administration where citizens can participate effectively.

Importance of E-Governance in digitization era:

  • Transforming lives: The government has been trying hard for digitization to induce economic inclusiveness and social transformation, through initiatives like, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and Skill India.
  • India, as a result, is gearing up for an era of increased digitization. E-governance is important to distribute various benefits of economic growth due to digitization to all the sects of society. Blending technology and citizen centricity, catalyzing, government operations to create a safer, more efficient and sustainable society.
  • Good governance: The complex nature of governance in India demands a holistic approach. Shedding old methods and embracing new technologies in governance, would lead to faster, smarter and more pro-active government needed in the age of digitization catering its citizens.
  • Modern problems : With world moving towards new era of digitization, it is necessary for government to adopt modern methods of governance to tackle new threats of modern time like cyber fraud, fake news etc.
  • Ease of Business: It is important for making doing business for economic growth of the country. Timely approval of projects and tracking of the projects and policies is important and can be made easy through E-governance.
  • Ease of services: E-governance include the digitization of land records, single-window handling of grievances and maintenance of essential services; easing tax payments and government dues; along with internet based delivery of services. It led to faster work culture with reduction in inefficiencies and better services to Indian citizens.
  • Real Time Governance: With the help of E-Governance, the government can swiftly resolve citizen grievances and monitor infrastructure projects, incidents and weather & climatic events across the state in real time, leveraging technology services.
  • Cost Reduction: Most of the Government expenditure is appropriated towards the cost of stationary. Paper-based communication needs lots of stationary, printers, computers, etc. which calls for continuous heavy expenditure. Internet and Phones makes communication cheaper saving valuable money for the Government.
  • Transparency: Use of ICT makes governance transparent. Most of the information of the Government is made available on the internet. The citizens can see the information whenever they want to see. E-governance helped in reducing corruption by online track of various government activities.
  • Accountability: As the governing process is made transparent the Government is automatically made accountable. Accountability is answer-ability of the Government to the people.
  • Many e-government initiatives introduce technology to improve efficiency and avoid potential human bias. Electronic tax filing (e-filing) is an important example, as developing countries increasingly adopt online submission of tax declarations to replace in-person submission to tax officials.
  • Firms that e-file have lower compliance costs, spending five fewer hours each month on fulfilling tax obligations.
  • Among firms previously more likely to evade, e-filing doubles tax payments, likely by disrupting collusion with officials. Conversely, among firms less likely to have been evading, e-filing reduces tax payments, suggesting that officials had previously required them to pay more.
  • These firms also pay fewer bribes, as e-filing reduces opportunity for extortion. In all, the results indicate that e-filing reduces compliance costs and makes the distribution of tax payments across firms arguably more equitable.

Conclusion –

Governance is a challenge in a country as vast, diverse and rapidly developing as India. That’s where new technologies intervene and enable large-scale transformation and help in the implementation of ambitious government plans. E-governance thus is important to make governance effective and easy catering to the needs of people.

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