Unitary Government | Merits | Demerits

Unitary Government

The system of governance in which all powers are vested in the hands of the central government and governance is run from the centre is called a unitary government. In this system, power is not distributed between the centre and the province. The state consists of provincial or administrative regions. In this type of government, the regional government has no separate entity. But they act as agents or facilitators of the centre. Bangladesh, Japan, and the UK are examples of the unitary government.

Merits of Unitary Government

Unitary government has the following merits:

Easy Organization System: The organization of a unitary government is simple. In it, all powers are vested in the hands of the centre. There is no complexity in sharing power between the centre and the province. If any decision is made at the centre, it can be easily implemented all over the country. Besides, unified laws, policies and plans are put into effect in this form of governance. Organizational consistency is maintained.

Symbol of National Unity: In this form of government there is no autonomous regions or province. As a result, the same administrative principles and laws are made for the whole country, which helps to keep national and territorial integrity.

Cost-effective: In a unitary government, the administrative cost is low. Because the government only remains at the centre in this form of government. Here, the central government takes all the decisions and implements them gradually. High officials are not necessary at every level, so the cost decreases.

Quick decision-making: Unitary government can take a quick decision as it does not have to consider regional interests or it does not have to consult with the provincial government. No complexity arises in decision-making.

Suitable for small states: Unitary state is suitable for a state which is geographically relatively small and has a homogenous culture. For example, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Demerits of Unitary Government

Just as the unitary government has its merits, it has demerits too. They are:

Workload: As all the powers are vested in the hands of the central government, the central government has too much load of work. As administrators of the central government, they have to perform all functions, so they cannot pay attention to the welfare functions of the people due to the heavy workload.

Unfavourable for local leadership development: In this system, power is exercised and decisions are taken at the centre. No scope is left for political participation at the provincial or regional level. As a result, local leadership cannot develop.

Negligence of local development and problems: Unitary government adopts unified plans or decisions for the whole country. But different localities may have different problems, and the central government cannot notice all of these problems. Moreover, as the regions are far away from the centre, the central government cannot understand and solve the local issues.

Unsuitable for large states: Unitary government is unsuitable for large states. In large states, language, culture and tradition differ from one region to another. These differences altogether cannot be tackled alone by the central government. In running the state, the government has to face multifaceted problems. People become suspicious of the government. For this reason, separation may develop in the regions.

Center's arbitrariness: As all powers tend to be centred in the central government, it might lead to the rise in arbitrary behaviour of the central government.

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