A Glimpse of Institutional Reforms and Good Governance
By: Laraib Yousaf Malik
21st Century has witnessed an undeniable transition that has an impact on every segment of life and that transition is Corona Virus Pandemic. It is a matter of concern how this pandemic affected a country that has a population of more than 220 million – the fifth highest in the world. Since 1947 Pakistan is facing numerous challenges, one of them being governance. The word ‘Governance’ refers to the exercise of the political, economic, and administrative authority for managing the affairs of a nation. It comprises complex mechanisms, processes, and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights and obligations, and mediate their differences. In basic terms, it denotes the interplay of the state institutions, markets, and civil society and a set of processes that deliver entitlements, services, and rights to citizens. A key responsibility of the state is to create a conducive political, legal and regulatory environment for building individual capabilities and encouraging private initiatives. Furthermore, effective political and administrative structures and a robust civil society are essential for promoting democratic governance as these facilitate peoples’ participation in economic, social, and political activities. Since its creation, Pakistan’s government opted for three main theories to eradicate poverty from the country: Neoclassical, Structuralist, and Institutional Transformation. Since 1980 Pakistan is paying attention to the first theories to tackle its challenges but unfortunately, it emerged as an about-to-fail state. The Institutional Transformation theory has been ignored. Transforming Institutionalists define social formations as Institutional entities shaped by state and law. They try to draw state attention toward economic prosperity through institutional stability. Some scholars claim that all the development in the industrial sector or any public sector revolves around the wheel of the Institutional framework. Institutions are helpful to move the economy backward and forward. History reveals the fact that Pakistan is a state where Civil Administrators played their role in formulating and implementing institutional policies. Pakistan inherited its core system from British India where colonizers were ruling the colony to enhance their imperialistic gains. Since 1947, Pakistan is suffering from unacceptable institutional failure. There are multiple reasons for such failure including Political instability, lack of management, and social mistrust. The following characteristics of institutions are responsible for hampering the institutional growth: The laws, The demands of choice, Incentives, Processes, and Ideology. The present legislation is not enough to implement impactful policy to prosper the institutions because the new era has its kind of challenges. Requirement of choice allows the people to work under typical circumstances the idea itself is selfish. People usually prefer economic benefits over other morals which is the biggest debacle in the way of growth in any institution. Another hurdle is the process itself because implementors do not infer whether they should follow the state law at any cost or they can ignore it. In the Pakistani social structure, nobody can move without an ideology which is a base for personnel’s values and standards. A degenerate system of institutional development is because of the influence of political unrest which is causing inflation, poverty, and unrest among the masses. The only solution to tackle the current situation is strong policy implementation which can be further refined by efficient state laws and a transparent way of recruiting occupants. Good governance needs a balanced approach for the reformation of institutions in such a state where much is needed to prosper a common man.