“Who observes closely better knows how to tackle.”
This is something local people often tell the higher authorities when a crisis or an issue emerges. And what’s not okay is the control of power in one hand. Billions of problems and a handful of employees containing that power and every problem needs to be entertained.
In summarizing, there’s a term called DECENTRALIZATION. What does this term mean? Why has this become a major talking point? Let’s discuss this one by one.
DECENTRALIZATION means the power in the hands of higher authorities or control is to be distributed among the local bodies and authorities to effectively manage and function in a specific area or a small system.
In simple words, it means the transfer of power and decisions among the low-level organizations to facilitate and support the smaller areas in an effective way.
If we further elaborate, we will see that there are types of Decentralization. Some major types include Political, Administrative, Market, and Fiscal decentralization.
Let’s see a quick definition of these types!
1. Political Decentralization
The main objective is to transfer few and important powers to the elected representatives chosen by the people in better decision-making. This supports the statement “Power to people” and demonstrates a goal of Democracy in India.
Major Lawyers and well-educated officers have also said that the distribution of powers among the public departments will lead to better functioning. This distribution of powers will enhance officers’ morale at lower levels.
2. Administrative Decentralization
It primarily focuses on the redistribution of authorities, responsibilities, and various resources among public officers for better working and efficient management.
It can be the transfer of anything from financial decisions to the management of a certain area from central government to low-tier officers. Again, it’s divided into three major forms:
3. Financial Decentralization
It deals with financial activities. To manage local bodies better by generating a sufficient amount of revenue or transferring funds for the development of a sector, Decentralization is a needful thing because public authorities can only do the proper management of money.
Now, this has become a serious challenge since common people find it hard to maintain their day-to-day lives.
Since every area comes with its own set of challenges, the problems need to be discussed and resolved to maintain a perfect balance between the government as well as the citizens.
Why is Decentralization Necessary?
- To better understand issues at a smaller level, higher authorities lack this understanding because of some psychological and communication barriers. This ignorance or lack of understanding always leaves behind a bad mark on the reputation of authorities.
- On the other hand, local authorities have a better understanding of the citizens and the issues in that area, making them more efficient than higher levels. Also, they better analyze the expenditure needed and where it needs to be done more.
- The participation of civilians becomes obvious with the local levels as compared with the higher levels. This not only strengthens a better understanding with the people but also signifies a democratic society which is again a need of an hour.
- For any decision or a change to happen, which becomes a crucial part, local authorities need not wait for the orders. Instead, the change or the hurdle could be settled shortly. Also, it lessens huge capital of higher levels which they can invest in other raising issues.
- Until and unless the powers are not divided, the employees won’t seek learning and gain experience. Till the powers and decision-making are under the control of the Central Government, the low levels won’t understand the management and can’t be able to serve the commoners in the coming days.
- In a Centralised Government, the decisions and the orders follow a hierarchical path which leads to delay in orders. Whereas if Decentralization happens, the decisions don’t need to travel a long way. Instead, it would be implemented in a lesser time which will motivate the officers and the citizens both at the same time.
- The major issue is that when the Central authority holds all the powers, the attention decreases the workability. While Decentralization gives autonomous powers to their juniors by which the problem gets full and focused attention. It discharges the government which gives relief in some way or the other.
- Talking about autonomy to lower levels of government, Decentralization also provides autonomous powers to heads of a department which makes them capable and accountable to all the challenges.
- In addition to this, they achieve significant respect and growth among the people which works as the source of motivation for future challenges. It also gives a healthy competition to their competitors which makes everybody even more productive.
This list doesn’t end since the problems are unaccountable.
For any country to raise its bar from developing to a developed nation, major steps and actions need to be taken, like Decentralization.
However, it’s not that easy as it seems to be. Multiple concerns rise when this distribution of powers happens. But it’s more like an urgent thing too. To maintain perfect stability, necessary rules and distribution should be made accessible to low levels having every consequence in mind. This hierarchical system will function efficiently, and people don’t need to rely on higher jurisdictions’ declarations.