Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar, India
Balancing the Central and Local, Civil Service
Evaluation and Performance, Payroll/Pay Delivery, Corruption in the Civil Service
Tue Jul 14 2009
Anup Mukerji talks about his role as principal secretary in the Rural Development Department, which deals with anti-poverty programs in Bihar, India. The key programs in the department were wage employment, self-employment and housing. Mukerji explains that the main objective for the reforms was to reduce corruption and to introduce transparency in the system. He describes how the housing program developed an ordered below-poverty-line list of the homeless or those with very poor housing, to prevent officials from using their own discretions. Also, to make the programs more efficient, they switched from giving the poor cash to transferring money directly into their bank accounts to avoid leakages. Regarding the wage employment program, Mukerji discusses the introduction and use of the biometric attendance roll to resolve issues of false attendance and payments to the wrong people. He also explains their efforts at improving service delivery by adopting better recruitment processes, training and the use of information technologies. In addition, Mukerji identifies the significance of evaluating reporting formats and using them to rank the districts before their monthly meetings as a way of analyzing and encouraging performance by district-level officials. He also acknowledges the impact of civil society in improving the quality of implementation of government programs.
At the time of this interview, Anup Mukerji was the development commissioner for the government of Bihar. He also served as the head of the Investment Promotion Board and other development committees that encouraged direct investment, private sector investment, and investment in infrastructure. In May 2006, he became the principal secretary of rural development, a position he held until May 2009.