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11th-Sep-2018

Development and centralized economy

By

Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque and Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder :
We have already developed an understanding about the nature of overdeveloped state with bureaucracy ruling the roost. The state continues taking an upper hand and centralized bureaucracy is is quite reluctant to to bring about the growth of local points as peripheries. The bureaucratic arena in politico administrative landscape is preponderant over all state organizations engaged in formulating and implementing policy as well as in regulating and delivering services.  The bureaucratic governance is not at all governance for the local government and field liking to concentrate power in its domain. "This set of issues has been of concern since the advent of centralized Administration, but they have taken on particular significance to academics and Practitioners alike since the work of Max Weber"
The bureaucracy, however, should only be studied in the context of power matrix involving the local government and the field bureaucracy. , Hearting to note Indian government under PM Modi has decided to developed peripheries all around for the sake of resilient economic growth. No one stop service. Service sectors including IT must be decentralized ensuring growth centers at the micro level. Then area or block development local political leadership must be based on inclusive governance.
Nevertheless decentralization in the functional sense of the term must be based on good governance and development administration. Popular participation must be the reveling aspect of the totality of concerns about inclusive governance. Participation is the revealing aspect of development administration. Almost everyone view participation as participation in community organization, participation in the project cycle, participation in local organization, participation local government institutions.
Participation in the project cycle, most particularly within the implementing institution itself, involves popular participation in planning, implementation, output, and evolution stages of the project cycle. It may even entail participation in administration itself as reoriented bureaucracy assigns high priority to opening itself to increased participation.
Participation in the local organizations involves participation in the whole range of local institutions such as Local Governments, Co-operatives, Social Organizations and Public Bodies with a special concern for the consequences of success, for examples, Associated Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC).
Participation in local government institutions (LG) is meant to promote genuine socio economic change through such institutions. There is a long history of such participation in the sub-continent with a rather not very encouraging success. Participation not only indicates participation in the development activities of the community itself but also in areas of activity that the people share with other communities. Given the interdependence of the peasant communities under the impact of modernization, the importance of organization in increasing people's involvement and initiative is admittedly great. The operating organizations in and outside the village include informal political body (traditionally sanctioned) cooperatives, recreational club, youth club, women association, union parishad (grassroots government), various committees, rural courts etc. Many of these organizations involve the participation of people belonging to a number of villages as members. In some organization membership is restricted and in some it is wide ranging. Membership in various committees is closed and limited to the higher echelon of the society. Apart from the upward movement along organizational linkage people participate in various rural development projects as beneficiaries. Some model farmers in South Asian villages have received useful orientation from the rural development institutions as trainees. They are partaking in the activities of the projects as mobilizes and change agents. This level of peasant's involvement as beneficiaries and trainees in recent years is a manifestation to the tremendous increase of social mobility.
In Bangladesh peripheries are not developed to the extent desired. There is considerable factual evidence from different parts of the Bangladesh society that the benefits of development are concentrated in a segment of rural population and are not shared by all. This is because policy implementation action through remote control is rather a bane to the disadvantaged locus. Also the local offices are not well equipped to dispatch necessary logistics to the receiving points.
If participation in development is measured in terms of distribution of benefits the peasant masses remain non-participation and do not receive the benefits they accept. As Myron Weiner notes: "Most of the benefits from government policies do not reach the poor (peasants) ... the policies pursed have nowhere led to greater economic equality and a lessening of concentration of economic power." Capitalistic concentration has been increasing under capital-intensive development program. "This sort of development by its nature eliminates those who lack or fail to mobilize the minimum resource base". "This pattern is related to the distribution of wealth, power and status in the socio-cultural environment".
'There are two contending opinions on the issue of centralization and overriding influence of centralized bureaucracy. There are some observers who believe that centralization replete with omnipotent bureaucracy has brought rapid prosperity to the underdeveloped countries while others argue that it serves the needs of the metropolitan community at the expense of the peripheral areas. .  Centralization is economic terrorism. Although several studies have been done on the issue. There has been no systematic study the actual needs of the peripheries.  The centre continues to dominate and exploit the locals under the whirlpool of dependency. By dependence we mean a situation in which the economy of peripheries is conditioned by the development and expansion of centralized economy. But if the local states are not allowed to fend for itself in all the aspect of economy that concern the interest of its people there would be no justice.

(Dr. Md. Shairul Mashreque, retired professor, Chittagong University and Dr. M Abul Kashem Mozumder, Pro-VC, BUP)