The Second volume of Economic Survey 2016-17 has proposed Transparency of Rules Act (TORA), a progressive legislation to end any asymmetry of information regarding rules and regulations faced by an average citizen.
The objective of TORA is to help citizens overcome an opaque mesh of complicated rules that often leads to corruption and endless litigation.
At present due to opaque mesh of regulations prevalent in India make life of ordinary citizens (as well as businesses) difficult as it is not easy for ordinary citizens for them to navigate the multitude of rules, regulations, forms, taxes and procedures imposed by various tiers of government. Moreover, these rules frequently change and sometimes contradict each other. Even government officials struggle to keep up with ‘the latest version’ of complicated rules. They also act as a magnet for corruption and endless litigation.
Key Features of TORA
TORA will require all government departments to mandatorily place all citizen-friendly rules on their website. Government Officials will not be able to impose any rule not mentioned beforehand. It will make mandatory for updating all existing laws by the department.
Government websites will also have to notify the date and time of each change made. TORA will normally be applicable after a specified time after the rule has been posted. “TORA compliant” departments will ensure that citizens get authentic and updated information.
India will benefit enormously if the average citizen could easily access the latest rules and regulations in a comprehensible format. Transparency of Rules Act (TORA) will be a possible solution for this.