Maharashtra government is planning to set up a policy research department to keep tab on various schemes, policies and services run by it involving the tax payer’s money.
The department, which will be called Institute for Policy Research (IPR), will be on the lines of the Centre for Policy Research (which acts like a think-tank) to review and research schemes, policies and services where tax payer’s money is involved, said a senior government official said.
The IPR will study schemes, policies and services and find out if they need any amendments or improvement in implementation so that the tax payer’s money is utilised properly, the official said requesting anonymity.
“The government is in the process of finalising the draft proposal which is expected to be tabled before the state Cabinet for final approval. After its notification in the Government Resolution, the government expects to implement it from January 2017,” the official said.
He added that initially the government will take up some policies on pilot basis and thereafter research will cover the rest of the schemes, policies and services.
“The state administrative training institute YASHADA, Pune will anchor the research. The government may appoint few administrative officers, hire private experts on policy for the purpose. The government will take assistance from the reputed Harvard Business School in the exercise,” he said.
“The IPR system will definitely help to improve the policy of implementing process. The study will be helpful in whether the policy, scheme or service is being properly implemented or not or it has a loophole, or if it should be continued at all,” he said.
The official further said departments like Home, under which police render services to the people, their services have never been audited to find out if they really serve the people or the public feedback has ever been sought.
He said the system also needs to upgrade so that a departmental inquiry gets completed within six months which otherwise normally goes on for 5-6 years.
At present, there are about 24 major government departments like agriculture, school education, rural development, food and civil supplies, public health, social justice, energy, Home, women and child development and others.
Some of the major schemes that are being implemented by the government include Bal Thackeray Upgath Vima Yojana, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jeevandayeeni Yojana (for cashless treatment for poors), Rajashri Shahu Maharaj Scholarship for SC students and others.