In a move that is expected to streamline public access to government schemes a whole lot, the Department of Personnel and Training is preparing to come out with simple forms — even single-page forms, if possible.
Speaking to journalists on the occasion of Good Governance Day on Friday, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said several steps were being mulled to make better use of the taxpayers' money, and simpler or one-page forms were one of them.
"Today, when a beneficiary has to access government schemes, he or she has to fill up lengthy, often complicated forms and give a lot of information repeatedly. On top of it, they have to give affidavits and attested copies of a lot of documents as enclosures and wait for indefinite periods with fingers crossed," Jitendra Singh said. "Why cannot we have simpler forms seeking only essential information? Why should not we believe our citizens and only seek self attestation of information that they are submitting?"
It was this thought process that led to the idea of simpler forms, which can fit in a single A4-size paper.
"It is our duty to deliver services in time with least inconvenience. There is a need to have a critical look at the current procedures and forms in use in various Departments and Ministries in the government," said Singh, adding: "There is a need to eliminate layers of decision making for adding speed to the disposal mechanism. There is a need to specify one page forms seeking essential information for upholding the dignity of our citizens."
He also said: "We strongly believe the dignity and respect of the beneficiary is very important, and should not be allowed to be compromised in any way while implementing these beneficiary oriented schemes. It should not be that they feel obliged for the care the government takes of them. Rather it is the government who should feel privileged to be able to be of help its citizens in need."
An official statement from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions said the plan is to make the forms in such a way that their content is easy to understand and complete, and certificates and documents to be attached with them easy for the beneficiary to obtain.
It also said another aim of this governance step would be to ensure that the intended benefit reaches beneficiaries quickly, and with dignity.