Over the last five years the nation has witnessed an unprecedented momentum in governance ideals of accountability, transparency and citizen participation. The collective vision of New India has not only united every Indian with a common goal but has inspired everyone to partake in this momentous journey. It must be mentioned that BJP state governments have played a remarkable role in ensuring that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is actualised in letter and spirit. Haryana stands as a torch bearer of good governance in effecting transformative changes in the state’s social and economic landscape. A deeper analysis of Manohar Lal Khattar government’s performance brings important insights into Haryana’s governance model and policy initiatives for other states to emulate.
Haryana Stands for its Daughters
While there are many milestones achieved by the Manohar Lal Government, one segment that deserves a special mention was battling the infamy of being unfair to Haryana’s daughters and the dangerously dwindling sex ratio spiralling into numerous socio-economic problems. What was needed was a mindset change and a behavioural renaissance, a Herculean task to reckon with. The fact that the sex ratio of the state crossed 900 mark for the first time and reached 914, reiterates the political conviction and prudent policy approach of the state government. A close scrutiny of SRBs (sex-ratio-at-birth) right from the CMs office, fixing accountability right till the village level, encouraging institutional deliveries (it is at 91% currently) curbing female foeticide through a strict vigilance and deterrence mechanism, and high conviction rate under the PCPNDT Act, are few of the many measures undertaken to tackle the problem. All this with a parallel focus on social interventions like kuan pujan on birth of a girl child, Beti Janm Mahotsav, celebrating female icons of Haryana, financial incentive scheme among others.
On the other hand, the State Government has tackled the constraining factors to women empowerment. For instance, to ensure that girls’ unrestrained access to education, the government has launched Chatra Parivahan Suraksha Yojana’, to provide free of cost and safe travel. In addition, the state launched 181 buses especially for women with provision of security guard. Similarly, ensuring safety and independence at the same time, the government has launched Durga Shakti App and Durga Shakti Rapid Action Force for school and college-going girls. Number of Women police stations has risen from 2 to 31 in the last five years. What we see a 360-degree impact on women’s empowerment in the state and exhibits a strong political will and assertive policy-making.
Riding Strong on Good Governance
This plank of good governance has been well reflected in overall operations of the government throughout its term. The state government has also set a benchmark in participatory governance through a range of e-services and measures like ‘CM Window’, empowering the common man and enhancing accountability. Aligning with Digital India’s vision of faceless, paperless and cashless service/scheme delivery model, Antyodaya-SARAL. portal has been set up to transform citizen service delivery in Haryana through complete digitisation of over 500 services. it is indeed commendable that over the last five years, Haryana has been in news for all right reasons, for all the socio-economic transformation on ground. The robust operational framework has made scams a thing of past. No amount of political gimmickry led by Opposition to allege corruption or mis governance ever had any scope. The government has plugged loopholes and led digitisation to minimise official interface and discretion, thereby empowering the common man and making the stakeholders accountable.
An Investor-Friendly Haryana
As a result of many targeted reforms and digitisation of key processes, the government was successful in cultivating a positive investment environment in the State. It is noteworthy that Haryana jumped from 14th in 2014 to 3rd position in the 2019 under the Ease of doing business Index 2018 and is 1st among the North
One of the most impactful interventions have been tightening the noose over inspector raj, which had always been a major bottleneck in attracting investment in the State. Measures like Third-Party Inspection, Self Certification System, Single Window Clearances System, online systems for granting business permits and licenses have contributed to the positive growth. Today in Haryana, key processes application filing and approval processing are digitally ensured through e-Biz portal at: investharyana.nic.in. As per official records, through the portal, 5,819 applicants were provided 100 per cent services for projects involving investment of Rs 1,30,533 crore, and employment potential for 7,36,647 people.
The Industrial policy of 2011 has also been revised and Haryana Investment and Business Promotion Policy, 2015 has measures to protect and facilitate interest of investors. Under the policy, Haryana Enterprise Promotion Board has been constituted for details and approvals under a single roof. All types of permissions are now granted within 45 days through the Haryana Enterprise Promotion Centre.
Thrust on Entrepreneurship
The state of Haryana also holds the distinction of having the highest number of start-ups registered in the last five years. Further, over 3.8 million Mudra loans have been disbursed in the State, which means every fourth voter is a Mudra beneficiary and a job creator, thus creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of employment and entrepreneurship.
We also find a parallel focus on developing the MSME sector through development of dedicated clusters and the initiatives have attracted national recognition as well. The sector alone has given employment to over 3.5 lakh.
Strengthening Grass roots Democracy
True governance is about balancing both ends of the rope, Manohar Lal Government has done just that. An innovative ‘7-Star Gram Panchayat Rainbow Scheme’ has the potential to realise the 73rd amendment in true spirit. The scheme grades Panchayats based on performance on several parameters and incentivises with monetory support. The scheme enhances the DNA of the whole framework itself by making it performance oriented. The government has set up a total of 1,783 IT Gram Sachivalayas enhancing autonomy and accountability at the same time.
Ideology is Haryana’s Success Story
The massive transformation the State has witnessed is bolstered by the ideologies that govern not just the political decisions but the personal and emotional investment of the leader. Being a full time pracharak and a man of humble beginnings, Shri Manohar Lal’s strength has always been in his hold on grass roots realities. He is a case in point of how ideological enrichment and values play a vital role in shaping up a magnificent leader capable of bringing about lasting transformation in the society.
(Dr Sumeet Bhasin is currently director at Public Policy Research Centre, New Delhi. Vidushi Sahi is a researcher there with PPRC)