First of all congratulations to Bihartimes team for this very useful idea of experience-based article from the proverbial common man.
I hope "inclusive growth man" (ironically industrially barren state has growth man at helm, but I have hope for Bihar this time) is looking into cases like this. When as basic a thing as crediting cheque can be at whims of some corrupt clerk in a government bank then to expect investment from outside will remain a chimera. Some like Kaushalendra driven by love for Bihar and Bihari pride would still invest and brave these Grand Canyon size foot holes but in general investors with better investment environment opportunity will not bother. After all business is not charity. I hope the proposed legislation where a govt servant has to provide service within some fixed time becomes a reality. If a rule is in place to either explicitly deny or provide service; this ubiquitous tool of procrastination will be difficult to use.Every government servant does this.
Here I would like to share my own experience. It has not to do with business practice per se but certainly relevant how things work in our beloved Bihar.Sometime back I, while visiting Bihar, was thrown behind bars at behest of some local hanger-ons of police station with whom we have some long-standing property dispute. Police officer knew he has nothing to press any charge so he tried to threaten me and put a demand of $2000. I flatly refused meanwhile my brother pulled some strings and Daroga Jee had to let me go.
I formally complained about this incident to every office I could think of from CM to Superintendent of Police. I am told local policewallah didn't like it. From then on every routine thing for us gets blocked. For instance my brother's police verification report for passport (File No. A021485-08, Submission Date: 18-02-2008) is stuck somewhere in that cauldron of government office. He sent an RTI and got the details of police verification file dispatch no: 2604 dated 09-12-2009; stuck in SP office. He paid a visit to SP office and was told that it will be sent. But to no avail still police verification is stuck in SP office. Now these people know they can't give bad report whimsically so they use the tool of indefinite procrastination. I have been telling my brother to send another RTI to SP office but seeing news of RTI query-men getting killed left right and centre he is having second thoughts.
This is the reality of so-called law and order in Bihar. Same passport one gets within few months in Delhi.
I have noticed even our CM Shri Nitish Kumar has started getting invitation from Business school for lecture just like yester-year leader Shri Laloo Prasad Yadav. As much happy as I am hoping to see news like this enabling some thrust of business in Bihar, I am afraid getting recognition before delivering on business front is going to be his kryptonite just like his predecessor. After all, there is a saying fish starts to rot from head.
I am appealing to our respected CM please expedite that "guarantee of public service" bill that is going to usher a new era of change in Bihar. Roads/schools/hospitals are fine now Bihar needs another leap.
Anil Kumar *
Anil Kumar comes from r-urban (rural-cum-urban) area of Sitamarhi district in the state of Bihar. He got under-graduduate education in engineering from one of India’s premier institutions, IIT and higher education from University of Waterloo, Canada . Presently He is working in research and development centre of a Canada based high-tech firm involved in advancing electronics-imaging technology.