Pragmatic | A rule-generation process let loose

Three examples

#1 – Two Prime Ministers – Manmohan Singh and Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago – were among the guests who enjoyed the hearty meal during the just concluded Pravasi Bharatiya conference in Jaipur. Now it has emerged that the catering firm – Sky Feast – has no food licence, a mandatory requirement under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Interestingly, the state health department had deputed two food inspectors to check the food supplied for the two PMs. It now appears that they cleared the food without bothering to check whether the firm had the clearance to supply it.[India Today]

#2 – The Co-ordinating Committee of Secretaries (CCoS), headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth, is a follow-up to the policy for acquisition of assets abroad by PSUs to ensure adequate raw-material, crucial for growth of the manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole, an official statement said. The CCoS will consider proposals which are beyond the powers of board of CPSEs and require a budgetary support.[First Post]

#3 – The Government has allowed MS-Office Software as per DGS&D rate contract, to Government and Government Aided Educational Institutions, including training comprising 24-48 working hours of learning period, on the above software to two teachers per school. MPs may recommend an amount up to Rs.22 lakh in all per annum from their MPLADS fund, to purchase books for schools, colleges and public libraries belonging to Central, States/UTs and Local Self Government as per break up given in recent circular. These institutes will not be entitled for recommendation of books in the subsequent year, but will be eligible in the 3rd year again. The recommendations made in this context will be examined/approved by a Committee chaired by District Education Officer.[PIB]

The conclusion is simple. We suffer from ridiculous rules that rule us. The above examples remind me of Gary North’s Law of Bureaucracy:

Some bureaucrat will enforce a written rule in such a way as to make the rule and the bureaucracy seem either ridiculous, tyrannical, or both.

Related Post: The burden of too many laws

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.