The mid-year Economic Survey has suggested creation of a e-repository of all citizen-centric rules of the government. This, the survey has argued, would result in lesser litigations and more effective compliance of all laws.
Currently, almost 60 per cent of all litigations languishing in Indian courts are against the government or government departments. The e-repository would clear the confusion prevailing about all existing government rules that citizens are expected to follow, and thereby bring down the number of litigations.
"This will be a sort of Wikipedia of all government rules and their current stature, effective to the last circular, so that there is no confusion. A history of all circulars with dates and times would also be made available," said Sanjiv Sanyal, principal economic adviser to finance ministry.
"No citizen can claim ignorance of government rules after this," he added. The Economic Survey suggests the execution of this through passage of a proposed Transparency of Rules Act (TORA), that will "end any asymmetry of information regarding rules and regulation faced by an average citizen."
All government departments would be mandatorily required to update their latest circulars on the TORA website interface, and a only period of time after it is uploaded, does it become effective on citizens, said Sanyal.
Officials will not be able to impose any rule not mentioned beforehand, the mid-year Economic Survey released on Friday said.
"There is a lot of confusion prevailing due to an opaque mesh of complicated rules resulting in corruption and litigation. TORA's objective is to help citizens overcome this," said Sanyal.
Once a department has been shifted to the platform, it can be deemed “TORA compliant” and citizens can make sure that the information is authentic and updated.
Sanyal later explained that it is not referring to the content of the rules but solely about the ease of finding out what the citizen is expected to do. "I have seen even government officials struggle to keep up with ‘the latest version’ of complicated rules," he said.