No Dues Certificate
Absurdity of system. Poverty of governance. Ample disregard for heightened environmental norms. There is one practising process in Manipur which would display in full form all these better-to-be-shredded qualities. I am talking of the No Dues Certificate collection process for the electricity bills. While in all the earlier cases, the payment of dues and the collection of certificates were done by one of my junior staff, but today for once I tried to follow the route myself. One makes the payment at one of the counters at the Keishampat power house. God, there are four more kilometres to be covered for reaching to the electricity office at the Lamphelpat and near the courts to show the receipt. Do not get disheartened, one still needs to go again for two more kilometres to the electricity office opposite the RIMS for the ultimate signature to qualify as the full certificate. In Economics we call it the transaction cost surpassing the actual cost, and in the language of governance principles, we would term it STUPID. Now this stupidity can be easily avoided. First, now that the offices are computerised, it should be possible to link the name of any government employee to the electricity connection ID for establishing the status of related electricity tariffs instead of asking them to incur the huge transaction cost of collecting the No Dues Certificate. Second, it should as well be possible to collect the Certificate at the point of payment for the bills. Third, the papers being wasted in all these related functions amount to degradation of the forests to the extent. Well, absurdity of a system and poverty of governance should not be a cost imposed on the consumers. The service provider and the consumer should each other respect in the contract for power utilisation, and one side should not impose unwarranted costs on the other like in the present case of No Dues Certificate issuance.