Chapter 8

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The Central Government


All the presidents of the provincial panchayat shall constitute the All-India Panchayats. It shall be uni-cameral because the system of having two chambers is unnecessarily complicated and expensive. The term of the All-India panchayat shall be three years.

8.1 Functions
The function of the All-India panchayat shall be very limited in accordance with the basic principle of maximum local and provincial autonomy. Its functions shall be:
 
a. to defend the country against foreign aggression.

b. to maintain a national force of guardians for internal law and order in times of emergencies.

c. to coordinate the provincial plans of economic development.

d. to run the ‘key’ industries of all India importance.

e. to manage the all India department of transport and communications.

f. to regulate currency, custom and international trade.

g. to maintain a few educational institutions of all India importance for technical and scientific research, and to advise the provinces regarding uniformity of educational standards.

h. to shape the foreign policy of the nation.

The residual power shall vest in the federating units and not the Centre.

8.2 Administration
1. The All-India Panchayat shall be the chief legislative body; it shall enact laws in regard to the functions assigned to it. The president of the all- India panchayat shall be the Head of the State.
 
2. The federal panchayat shall appoint ministers or commissars for various departments. These ministers shall not be the members of the All-India panchayat. There will, thus, be a separation of legislative and executive functions.
 
3. The central executive or the council of ministers shall be fully responsible to the central legislature. The term of the ministers shall be three years.

4. The Ministers will represent the best talent of the country irrespective of party or communal considerations.

There shall not be any regular and rigid political parties in view of a very large measure of local self-governments. While every attempt shall be made to give a fair representation in the central executive to all communities specially minorities, the vicious principle of communal proportions shall find no place in the future Constitution of Free India. In fact, when India reaches the fully developed non-violent stage, there will be no minority having a feeling of separateness or inferiority.

EDITORIAL NOTE
Accountable Bureaucracy
All India and state services are colonial institutions. They are elite cadres accountable to the national and state governments, designed to rule over the common people at the local level. They are permanent but transferable. Designed for colonial administration, they were efficient in it.
 
These permanent civil services are now expected to ensure that the political system adheres to the rules of government business. However, being transferable, they are abused in a democracy. Transfers have become a big industry. The political system collects huge kickbacks for favoured postings and uses it as a tool to subdue forthright officials.
 
In good democracies, every local, state and national government appoints its own bureaucracy. The departmental heads are identified through an independent selection committee or nomination by the elected chief executive. An appointments committee of the concerned elected body interviews them and approves their appointment on contract for a period of 4-5 years, usually coterminous with that of the elected body. Their services can be terminated only with the approval of the said appointments committee. Since the opposition is represented in these committees, it ensures that persons of dubious background do not get appointed and forthright persons are not abused.
 
Such departmental heads protect their subordinates from unfair political interference and abuse. This ensures that the bureaucracy is accountable to the people. In some democracies, sensitive positions such as those of the local police chief and public prosecutor are made elective to ensure that they are truly accountable to the people.

—- PEOPLE FIRST

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