Indian Bureaucracy can be friendly
A bit of fresh air. It feels good to see something beside the usual bad blood politics, corruption and indifference that has become the bane of India’s Government machinery at many levels for decades.
Last week when I returned from USA, I experienced in Chennai Airport the fastest immigration process anywhere in the world. It’s been sometime that returning Indians don’t need to fill up any forms, just having your Indian passport will do. A simple change which makes a lot of difference – filling up forms to enter your own country makes you feel alien and out of place in a modern democracy. In this instance, the officer on duty greeted me (surprise!) did his job quickly and while returning the passport back smiled and wished me well.
Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to receive this Certificate of Appreciation from Income Tax Department, one of the arms of Government that is known for it’s indifference towards taxpayers. It turns out last month Hon’ble Finance Minister has initiated this program where by Government conveys appreciation to tax payers for their contribution towards Nation building by sending them these certificates through email. The Government sends these certificates to individual tax payers who have no pending dues and who have been prompt in filing their Income Tax Returns. It probably costs Government few Rupees to send these e-certificates (currently they carry no benefits) but it made me feel good, alleviating a bit the burden of taxes.
May be these are ad-hoc incidents, but I hope these are grassroot level changes that are happening within the Indian Bureaucracy to turn them to be citizen friendly. As a citizen I don’t want my Government to do wonders and thunders, just make my interfacing with Government authorities easy and painless.