Exactly two months ago, an e-receipt facility was launched with much pomp and expectations at the Lungtenzampa fuel station.

With drivers of pool vehicles having to avail the electronic receipt after every refueling, it was expected to reduce the misuse of fuel. Everyone lauded the initiative. They knew this was a simple solution to a big issue of misusing government budget.

What happened since then is not known. Two months is a long time to study the impact of an initiative. The expectation was everybody would keep an eye on the fuel budget making drivers edgy. As far as we know, none have done a simple study. Kuensel was after some departments linked with the initiative to report a successful story of an initiative that received good public feedback.

Apparently nothing has happened after the launch or is taking a long time. This reminds us of the mismatch between the intention and the result. It is also a stark reminder of the lack of follow-up action when new initiatives are launched or rules enforced.

There is a general feeling that once a rule or initiative is launched, it will take care of everything. Without follow up, we see many fail to serve the intended purpose. We have plenty of examples.  We had the plastic ban, the ban on sale of tobacco and recently the ban on smearing lime on poles in the town. Then there is the rule of having to wear seat belts when behind the wheel, pick up and drop zones. Some are still not even aware if some of the above exists.

Some of our rules or initiatives are lauded internationally, even if some of them are not popular. If they see the light of the day, the benefits will go beyond the headlines they grasp in newspapers, within and outside. We get coverage for being the first to ban the sale of tobacco or plastic bags. We shouldn’t be the first to not implement them or failing to implement.

If our strength comes from making rules or coming up with bright initiatives, our weakness then is not having anybody to implement them. Quite often we hear of inspectors, fines and other penalties, forfeiture of business licenses, but it soon becomes clear that there is nobody to impose them.

All the initiatives would be wasted if they are not driving change or making impact. This can be visible only if followed up by actions.