‘Reforms being undertaken for transparency and enhanced administration’

They include a beneficiary-centric form of governance, says Finance Minister

Published - March 24, 2022 08:00 pm IST - CHENNAI

Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Thursday announced that reforms were being undertaken to bring in transparency and enhanced administration, including a beneficiary-centric form of governance where all government schemes across departments will be delivered in an integrated manner through one nodal system for each type of beneficiary. This would be akin to the single-window systems for Industries (existing) or real estate firms (announced in this Budget), he said.

Replying to the debate on the Tamil Nadu Budget 2022 in the Assembly, Mr. Thiaga Rajan said there was a need to take a look at registration and tax rates that had remained unchanged for the last 15-20 years, as not adjusting these rates for inflation was perilous to the State’s financial position.

“People get what they pay for.  An aspirational society cannot achieve it if we don’t get enough revenue. For the past 20 years, 15 years...there has been no change in rates. For example, the tax on commercial vehicles registration has remained unchanged for the last 20 years,” he said.

Mr. Thiaga Rajan added that there was a need to consider reducing the number of finance corporations of the government, such as the Tamil Nadu Power Finance Corporation, Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd., Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Fund Management Company, Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation and others. “Do we need so many? Can this be done in a better way?” he said, adding that these bodies were not being managed efficiently due to a shortage of IAS officers, who were already running hundreds of departments and the districts. An assessment was needed as to whether so many public sector companies were required, he said.

“To enhance administration and bring in transparency, we will deploy additional technology and simplify procedures to ensure that the poor get the schemes and benefits to which they are entitled. Till now, we have been looking at department-wise, what schemes are there. We are going to completely invert this, and are assessing how all the schemes can be delivered in an integrated manner to the beneficiaries, like the single-window system for industries and housing,” the Finance Minister said.

According to him, the whole ecosystem of Tasmac [which vends liquor] will be changed completely, with everything being computerised. The Finance Minister said there was also a need to bring in a comprehensive and sustainable mining policy, along with the use of technology where possible.

The Finance Department will be professionalised, and a daily dashboard will be set up to monitor the State’s financial position.

The Minister said the members of the Economic Advisory Council to the Chief Minister were providing their services without taking a single rupee from the exchequer, and were regularly providing suggestions to the government.

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