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Rao Chalasani– President, Chicago. Twenty-five year Wall Street veteran Chief Investment Strategist of Wachovia Securities (formerly First Union Securities) Recognized twice by the Wall Street Journal as best asset allocator among the top 13 U.S. financial service firms
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Director, Silicon Valley
- Mahatma Gandhi
A fulfillment of India’s freedom struggle
Systems mostly in place
Individuals can excel easily
Systems still developing
Individuals have to struggle to excel
Why Governance Reforms?
Is this a system lacking funds or a conscience?
Lok Satta – a dual top-down, bottom-up approach
Leading think tank that provides strategic direction
Lok Satta –
A grass roots people power movement that works
to implement FDR’s vision
Funds & in-kind
Lok Satta partner organizations in India and abroad
Indeed it is the only thing that ever did ”
- Margaret Mead
Its founder and mission
Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan – his life and mission
Director, San Diego
“ ... out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward....Our ancestors were great. We must first recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins; we must have faith in that blood, and what it did in the past - and out of that faith, and consciousness of past greatness, we must build an India yet greater than what she has been. There have been periods of decay and degradation. I do not attach much importance to them...such periods have been necessary. A mighty tree produces a beautiful ripe fruit. That fruit falls on the ground, it decays and rots, and out of that decay springs the root and the future tree, perhaps mightier than the first one...”
- Swami Vivekananda
Surgical, results-oriented, direct
The Five Pillars of Good Governance
the decriminalization of politics
Solution: Citizens have a right to know if candidates have prior criminal histories. Enact legislation forcing parties to provide background information on candidates they field.
Impact: - Lok Satta and coalition organizations challenge flawed bill concerning disclosure of candidates’ personal assets and criminal records
- The Indian Supreme Court rules in favor of the coalition
- Indian Election Commission issued guidelines in line with the Supreme Court directive
- Voters can judge candidates on personal merit
- SC directive to be enforced in December elections
Solution: Establish citizens groups to research and publicize the background of candidates. Create a forum to collect and verify criminal records. Publicize the records with those who have criminal pasts.
Impact: - 1999, Lok Satta identifies 45 Lok Sabha and AP assembly candidates with criminal records. Political parties get the message.
- 2002 Hyderabad Corporation elections
- 34 candidates
- 12 drop out for fear of exposure
- of remaining 22, 14 found with criminal records - of the 14, only 1 with criminal record is elected
- Model taken to states that go to the polls in Dec. 2003
campaign finance reform
Solution: Enact a bill for tighter scrutiny of election expenditure.
Impact: - Lok Satta drafts bill for tighter campaign finance reform and gets bipartisan parliamentary support
- Bill recently passed by Parliament largely unchanged
- The Election Commission will implement the new law
- The buying of votes and illegal fundraising curtailed
empowerment of local government
Solution: - Genuine devolution of power
- Transfer 50% of state tax revenues to local governments
- Create local government cadre in civil service
- Abolish unconstitutional bodies such as Urban Development Authorities (HUDA etc.)
- District wise allotments in state budgets
- Independent ombudsmen for errant local officials
Impact: - Government petitioned; no positive response yet
- Campaign for 10MM signatures completed
- Massive public education in AP on the issue; 800K pamphlets, 300K signature sheets, 107K posters etc.
Problem: Grossly deficient public services with no recourse
Solution: - Make citizens aware of services entitled to them through citizens’ charters
- Establish minimum standards for public services
- Force compensation for delay in rendering of services
Impact: - AP government recognizes charters with respect to four public services in municipalities across AP
- property tax assessment 15 days
- house construction permit 15 days
- water connection 30 days
- birth & death certificates 05 days
- Rs.50 compensation per day for delays in services
- In 97% of cases, services delivered on time
- 200 citizens receive compensation for delays
creating watchdog groups
Problem: Short delivery and adulteration of gasoline at filling stations. Economic cost in AP of Rs. 1 crore/day
Solution: - Mobilize citizen volunteers with pre-calibrated measures to verify pump readings
- Inform local media and government officials
- Citizen groups conduct ongoing, random checks
Impact: - AP department of weights and measures voluntarily fixes meters at all 1500 gasoline stations in the state
- Citizens spared Rs. 1,000 crore of fraud over 3 years
- 100,000 trained citizen volunteers by 2004
expanding the legal infrastructure
Problem: Justice delayed is justice denied. Upwards of 25MM cases pending in Indian courts. Resolution can take decades eroding credibility of the legal system. Street justice often results.
Solution: - Build more courts cost effectively
Impact: - Lok Satta has prepared draft legislation that would
- build 1 court per 25,000 citizens in rural areas
- build 1 court per 50,000 citizens in urban areas
- mobile courts with proceedings in local languages
- courts headed by Nyaayaadhikaaris
- deliver verdicts in 90 days
building a vibrant civil society
Holistic, sustainable and scalable
costs for 10MM signature campaign
Total actual expenditure Lakh Rs. 21!
governance quality and the fate of nations
Sources: UNDP, Transparency International
Secretary/Treasurer and Founder, Chicago
NRI institutional support
Awareness campaigns – changing the debate
Financial support and support-in-kind
Research, comparative studies and seminars
Promoting a positive attitude to improve individual and societal confidence
- Mahatma Gandhi
rooting out corruption
Problem: AP government launches a Building Regularization Scheme (BRS) to ratify minor deviations in construction through a compounding fee
- Many applications received
- Only 1000 of 8000 cases resolved due to demand for bribes
- Rs. 150,000 bribes collected from 300 citizens with no resolution
Solution: - Establish a transparent peoples court method of adjudicating BRS applications
Impact: - All remaining 7,000 applications adjudicated
- All bribes collected were actually returned!
Problem: State electricity boards (SEBs) are notoriously inefficient and corrupt. In 2001, the combined losses of SEBs totaled $5BN. In some states SEB losses are up to 60% of state deficits.
Solution: - Privatize power generation
- Trifurcate generation, transmission and distribution
- Transparency in contracts
Impact: - Lok Satta is working with authorities to improve the quality of power while sustaining affordability
- Four pilot projects established to test different modes of distribution in a franchise model
- Projects work with government, concerned citizens and farmers