Reducing Middle Men and Agents - Addl Inputs

One of the top asks of citizens of the Narendra Modi Government in 2014 via LocalCircles was reduction in corruption and reduction of middle men and agents at the thousands of Government offices across the country.

While some areas like direct benefits transfer, Railway Ticketing or GST have reduced middle men, there are many other areas where middlemen or agents continue to thrive. With this reference, we would like to seek your super specific inputs on what the next Government must do to eliminate middle men and agents at Government offices like RTO, Property Registration, etc.

Below are the key Issues, Root Causes and Solutions identified by your previously, related to minimizing the role of Middle Men/Agents in India.

Kindly review and share any additional inputs you might have in regards to states. Many state and local offices still have many middle men/agents involved for facilitiating transactions for businesses and citizens. We will be taking this up in a big way with the next Government. If you have direct experiences with middle men at Govt Offices, please do share the same as well with specifics.

Minimizing the Role of Middle Men/Agents in India

Issues Identified:
1.In India middle men are involved in almost all the sectors
2.Middle men lead to an increase in the prices of goods
3.Middle men charge a commission
4.Middle men lead to corruption
5.Government officers themselves point customers towards the middle men so that they could make money without taking bribes themselves
6.Middle men are involved in hoarding
7.Middle men lead to increase in the time taken for the goods to reach the end consumer
8.Middle men increase the turn-around time of the service delivery
9.In some Government departments, you just cannot get work done until you go through a middle man
10.Middle men exploit the knowledge gap of the consumer
11.Some middle men mislead and take advantage of the situation
12.Only agents seem to have the latest forms

Root Causes Identified
1.Most people do have not proper knowledge of processes at Government Departments
2.Most corporates and citizens don't have much time to spend on long and hectic processes
3.Government Departments do not have any Key Performance Indicators (KPI/KRAs). They don't take any responsibility to improve Turn Around Times (TATs)
4.E Governance is not popular yet
5.Most of the times, the websites are not updated with the latest information
6.Availability of forms is always an issue
7.Lack of transparency in law
8.The escalation mechanism is missing
9.Illiteracy is another major issue which leads to people depending on middle men
10.No commitment for completion of jobs by Government officers
11.There is a strong nexus between Government officers and these middle men
12.A lot of middle men also have political contacts
13. Through the middle men channel, the Government officers don’t take bribe directly from citizens but get the bribe indirectly
14. Middle men manipulate the law of supply and demand to their favour
15.There is a lack of awareness among common people
16.The only motive of the middle men is to earn more and more money out of a transaction
17.Middle men know how to get things moving and what is absolutely required for things to happen fast
18.Middle men are not afraid of law as they are used to bribing and getting let off
19.No stringent measures/law against the presence of middlemen

Solutions identified:
1.Centralized systems should be set up at various locations to collect food grains & various commodities from the farmers
2.Fair price shops should be established across the country
3.The shops purchasing material in large quantity should be given a rebate on the materials purchased, similar to big super markets
4.Officials should be made accountable and punished for delay/failure in delivery of service within stipulated timelines
5.All the offices should be made user friendly and properly guided with signboard
6.The names of the officials responsible for any procedures should be publicly available and they should be held accountable for their work or lack of it
7.RTO and Passport offices should ban entry of agents in their offices
8.Information on Government procedures should be made easily available
9.Dedicated helplines should be set up to answer any query that a person might have
10.All Government procedures and permissions should have a stipulated time limit
11.Introduce a public relation desks in every Government
12.Computerise the systems and make paper work as less as possible to minimize middle man work
13.E-services must be encouraged
14.The relatively simpler works should all be automated
15.The tendering system should automated to decrease human intervention
16.The citizens should take up responsibility of not encouraging middle men, if if their work takes a little longer time
17.All the forms should be made available on the internet
18.Contract for updating the Government websites should be outsourced. more  

View all 216 comments Below 216 comments
Start with the above three and utilise all the technological support like Apps, communication system and monitoring tool etc more  
Reason for middle man is that they are the group who comes ro the vendor, they collect, transport and store , and finally sell to others.In practical, it is not easy to eliminate middle man.You can tell remove middle man, but for the poor farmer who is there to buy from them?

If govt sincerly wants to eliminate middle man, there are three things to have.
One is collection center.Why dont govt can utilise post office , Bus stand and Railway station premises as collection center.These are the places approachable and controlled by Govt.Transportation also simpler expect Post ofc.
Second is to have a dedicated team to manage the centers.No corrupt practice should be there.
Thrrdly the willingness by govt for successful implementation..Here govt means not the party but the govt employees who takes the salary and enjoy with our tax revenue. more  
In UP , public can complaint through Jansunwat App , but the problem is State Government Officials are writing ' निस्तारित' without not even seeing the complaint' . "The result is public has to pay money for getting every work particularly with Lekhpal / kanoongo / Naib Tesildar . Being a senior citizen , I am facing such problem . more  
Corruption is not just belongs to India only,Corruption is a Different story, it cannot be neither created nor Destroyed, it will exist or transform in one form or another form all over the World !!! We need to remember that All Indians are not computer Educated to go online for everything,Different Businesses are different from Government Services.If you pay for your RAILWAY ticket you get it and end of it, whereas in services your documents can stuck anywhere in the name of Rules and Regulations, Laws , Technical aspects as per the wish of service provider and people are in the mercy of service providers who are individuals who things what they say is right or what they think is right which drags on,even online submissions we have to submit the documents which will be delayed unless we meet the service provider in their offices and give explanation or atleast to submit the demand drafts and challans. The Government websites dont works properly except the INCOME TAX AND GST.

Moreover most of the government offices dont provide acknowledgements for the documents we have provided. The worst thing is Government organisations do delayed payments to its customers which is the biggest concern to do business with Government.For example if people delay in payments to government the people will be charged with late charges and penalty whereas when government delays services to people no penalty no late charges or compensation to the people but people have to bear with it.

The Parliament should enact a Law for " PAYMENT WITH IN 30 DAYS" by any Government, Public sector or Private Sector Companies to the Business Organisation this will help in ease of doing business with Government and Public Sector.

Simplify the Government procedures instead of still huge paper work everywhere and cubmersome online filings For example INCOME TAX department can issue an common simple "Income Tax Payee challan" like our bank payment remittance challan, this challan should be mentioned

PAY TO: INCOME TAX A/C PAN NUMBER.

All banks in India should have this challan and any one
can remit by cash or cheque mentioning their PAN NUMBER.

This will help any common man to pay any amount of tax anywhere at any time at any bank for any transactions. End of the year total income tax payment statement can be generated and auditors submit to Income tax.

TDS procedures are Tedious. more  
The Registrar or the officer in charge should be made accountable, with clear cut norms of penalty, or punishment for delay or dereliction of duty.The very popular habit of passing the buck from one to the other should be completely eliminated. The option to submit all documents on line, should be encouraged. more  

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