Make democracy more deliberative: Plan panel member Maira

Press Trust of India, April 19, 2011

The Plan panel today called for making the democratic process more participative to deal with dissatisfactions like the recent agitation by activist Anna Hazare for implementation of the Lok Pal Bill.

“We need to establish in our country a deliberative democratic process… Democracy is not only about elections… If an institution is not perceived to be functioning then people will device shortcuts,” Planning Commission member Arun Maira said here while addressing the CUTS-CIRC International Conference.

He said institutions need to be made more receptive to the public”s wishes. “When official regulations are not working, people will find other ways,” Maira said.

Pointing to the recent four-day long fast by Anna Hazare and his group, the Plan panel member said people may have different opinions regarding formulation of laws but without effective functioning of the government bodies citizens tend to seek other ways.

He also added that in most instances people are apprehensive about new regulations.Commenting on regulations in the financial sector, he said: “To wait for crisis to induce regulations is probably not the right thing. It should be voluntary.” PTI PPB

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