Modiji has been regularly speaking the phrase “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”. Let me put my thoughts on my interpretation of what he means.

Govt. frames the right laws, puts the right systems in place which run of their own and requires no Govt. intervention. Govt. wont be visible anywhere in a normal scenario. But, when there is any problem, govt. steps in, promptly defuses the problem and steps back.

Lets take the example of a market. The Local Municipality identifies a place as a market where sale-purchase will occur. The Municipality builds parking, walkways etc. The customers, businessmen do business as usual and no Govt. official is seen. But suddenly, there is a dacoity attempt, the police step in, arrest the dacoits and things continue as usual.

Let me give another example. We have a company doing business, it pays taxes and files returns online. He never has to visit Govt. office, or talk to any Official. But, if there is a dispute between 2 companies, there is a elaborate court system where they can move, the court quickly decides the matter and things get sorted out.

One more example in context of farm laws. A farmer produces crops on field, the crop is directly procured by the person/company (s)he has signed contract directly from the field. But, if there is a dispute Govt. should have an efficient system for dispute resolution. (s)he doesn’t have to carry his crops to the FCI or APMC, pay commissions/bribes to Govt officials/dalals to sell the produce.

In nutshell, “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”, means, Govt. will play a role only when it is needed.

Why modern societies need to have a system? What are its advantages:

  1. With less work for Govt., it can focus only on the jobs it needs to do. For e.g., making laws, enforcing law and order, sorting disputes through courts, manage international relations and run welfare schemes etc.
  2. Taxes reduce. Why? The Govt. survives on tax payers money. With less people to manage governance, the expenditure on Govt. is reduced and tax payer’s money is saved. In India, huge sums are given run the loss making PSUs.
  3. Results to more innovation and better customer service. With Govt. playing a less role, private sector plays a bigger role which results to more innovation. Govt. as the name suggests, is meant to Govern/rule. In India, Govt is neither doing a good job in governance, not able to do business well. Most PSUs are lossmaking surviving on tax payers money. The Govt. disallows private sector to let PSUs flourish, the Govt. employees become complacent and customers get tardy service. BSNL is a classic example.

Way forward for India:

  1. The Govt. should make clear and un-ambiguous laws so that implementation of the laws will be easy. For e.g. the earlier labor laws were extremely murky, different laws spoke exactly opposite things.
  2. Govt. should pull out of business. Govt. should privatize PSUs in all areas, except the strategic sectors.
  3. We need to have a efficient judiciary. Court cases in India go for decades.
  4. Many Govt. officials get a complete cordon of job security with inefficient appraisal systems. This makes them lax. There should be some (not much) amount of insecurity in their minds, plus motivation for growth and prospect so that they work and deliver.

Minimum Government, Maximum Governance is a heavily loaded concept and sky is the limit here.

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