By DANISH KHAN
Public Administration has acquired a new role in lieu of the era of LPG’.
ROLE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION UNDER LIBERALISATION, PRIVATISATION AND GLOBALISATION (LPG)
Since the 1980s a number of countries, have been influenced by the concept of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. In the 1980s India has also started the process of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation (LPG). One form of LPG has entrusted the management of public sector enterprises partially or fully to private companies. Another form of LPG is disinvestment in public sector enterprises, which is followed in India. As a result of this the public sector enterprises find themselves in a competitive and challenging environment. However, the role of public administration under LPG continues to quite significant. It requires dismantling of a regime of regulations, controls, restrictions, licences, secrecy and delay. The bureaucracy has to play an investor friendly, responsive, transparent, open and competitive role. So, this requires necessary administrative reform, which should aim at elimination of redundant practices, procedures, administrative laws and corruption. Thus, the policy of LPG affects the role, values and skills of public bureaucracy. It also decreases the scope of the functions of the state, resulting in minimum of state interference in the lives of the individuals. The state is called upon to oversee the operational side of the enterprises. This gives the state a new role as regulator.
Today, the role of public administration is towards more of governance, then of direct involvement. The public administration has to play enabling, collaborative, cooperative, partnership and regulatory roles. Coming to the core areas such as defence, atomic energy, law and order, foreign policy it has a direct role to play. In certain other areas such as telecommunications, airlines, insurance, etc., it has to compete with the private sector, for which there should be regulatory commissions to provide for equal level playing fields for both the sectors. There are other areas which it can have partnership with the citizens for efficient delivery of services, for example, maintenance of schools, hospitals, irrigation water and civic amenities. An example we can give is the ‘Bhagidari Scheme’ adopted by the Delhi Government. In certain areas like electricity, water and transport it can have partnership with the private sector. A number of states have partnership with the private sector in providing these services. Other such areas are protection of forests, empowerment of women, micro credit, health schemes, and awareness programmes, it can have partnership with the Non Governmental (NGO) and Voluntary Organisations.
In analysing the emerging role of public administration in the new millennium, we are dealing with governance. And governance implies that public administration ahs to operate in a wider context and coordinate ebborts and activities of the governmental agencies at various levels with that of the market/the private sector, civil society groups, NGOs and contextual participant or elected local government bodies, self-help groups, etc. The role and character of public administration had seen a major transformation. Although it appears that its directly handled operations have declined in some of the non-traditional areas, public administration has to provide synergy and direction for many collaborative, cooperative and regulatory activities with other segments of the society. The accent is also on promotion of greater public participation. Yet, it is still accountable for the outcomes of all the activities in which it participates directly or indirectly .