PM Pre­pares 10 Power Points to Juice Up In­dia’s Bal­ance Sheet

Modi as­signs max­i­mum im­por­tance to need for em­pow­er­ing bu­reau­cracy, asks min­is­ters to pre­pare de­tailed ac­tion plan for NDA’s first 100 days in of­fice

The Economic Times - - Front Page - OUR BUREAU

PThe PM told his min­is­ters to treat gov­er­nance as the most im­por­tant sub­ject, with a sharp fo­cus on de­liv­ery and im­ple­men­ta­tion

rime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, chair­ing his sec­ond Cab­i­net meet­ing on Thurs­day, un­veiled a 10-point frame­work for ‘suraaj’ or good gov­er­nance, as­sign­ing max­i­mum im­por­tance to the need for em­pow­er­ing the bu­reau­cracy to work with­out the fear that ac­tions will be in­ves­ti­gated postre­tire­ment. This agenda for gov­er­nance should be em­bed­ded into day-to-day func­tion­ing and pol­icy mak­ing, he told min­is­ters.

Im­por­tantly, Modi has also asked min­is­ters to en­sure that all is­sues left pend­ing by the pre­vi­ous UPA govern­ment are re­solved on a pri­or­ity ba­sis and a de­tailed ac­tion plan be put in place for the NDA’s first 100 days in of­fice. The PM told min­is­ters to treat gov­er­nance as the most im­por­tant sub­ject, with a sharp fo­cus on de­liv­ery and im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“You must keep these points on your ta­ble where you can see them all the time. People have put their trust in us and we can­not let them down,” Modi is learnt to have told his Cab­i­net in a meet­ing that lasted around 90 min­utes. The mes­sage be­gan to per­co­late through the sys­tem soon af­ter. Tele­com and law min­is­ter Ravi Shankar Prasad asked San­char Bhawan of­fi­cials to “shun fear in de­ci­sion-mak­ing” and as­sured them the govern­ment will “fully back hon­est de­ci­sion­mak­ing.”

Cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der the pre­vi­ous UPA regime had led to a state in which of­fi­cials be­came wary of tak­ing de­ci­sions, leading to ad­min­is­tra­tive paral­y­sis. Sev­eral re­tired bu­reau­crats be­came the sub­ject of in­quiries.

“The PM’s stress on gov­er­nance is the need of the hour which has been lack­ing,” said ur­ban de­vel­op­ment and par­lia­men­tary af­fairs min­is­ter Venka­iah Naidu af­ter the Cab­i­net meet­ing, where the dates for the first ses­sion of the new Lok Sabha were ap­proved.

Promis­ing to meet all min­is­ters and sec­re­taries separately, Modi also made a point of ask­ing cab­i­net min­is­ters to share their work­load with ju­nior min­is­ters. “The PM told us to take min­is­ters of state along and give them proper work, adding that we should build new teams for the fu­ture,” Naidu said.

For­mer home sec­re­tary GK Pil­lai wel­comed the move by the Modi to meet sec­re­taries separately and his ask­ing min­is­ters to build con­fi­dence in them. “The PM has been keep­ing away from sec­re­taries for a long time, so it’s good if he reestab­lishes that link and as­sures them of pro­tec­tion on bonafide de­ci­sions taken to deliver out­comes. This mes­sage needs to be con­veyed to the last level of bu­reau­cracy as well,” Pil­lai said.

“At the same time, there is a need to tell the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion to draw up some guide­lines on prob­ing bu­reau­crats who have turned over-cau­tious as any de­ci­sion that leads to fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits to some­one else can be con­strued as a vi­o­la­tion of the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act,” he added.

Apart from the 100-day ac­tion plan, Modi wants all is­sues “pend­ing in the depart­ment, be­cause of the old govern­ment or any other rea­son, be treated on a pri­or­ity ba­sis to re­solve them,” Naidu said. Modi heard out ideas from min­is­ters about their own de­part­ments be­fore he spoke. “What is a pri­or­ity is com­mon sense,” Naidu said, when asked if in­fla­tion was one of the key is­sues on the PM’s mind. “Ob­vi­ously, it’s price rise and other well-known prob­lems. What the PM has talked about is the broader theme for gov­er­nance, im­ple­men­ta­tion mech­a­nism and de­liv­ery,” he said. “Ev­ery sec­tor is im­por­tant, ev­ery sec­tion is im­por­tant. People have very high ex­pec­ta­tions from us. What is im­por­tant for one may not seem im­por­tant to an­other,” said Naidu. On the govern­ment’s leg­isla­tive agenda in the short run, Naidu said he has be­gun the process of study­ing which bills have lapsed in the Lok Sabha and Ra­jya Sabha and need to be re­vived. A de­ci­sion on this will be taken later, but ma­jor leg­isla­tive busi­ness is not ex­pected be­fore the Budget ses­sion of Par­lia­ment. The PM also re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of deal­ing with states’ prob­lems on a pri­or­ity ba­sis. “Letters from the state govern­ment and rep­re­sen­ta­tions should be given im­por­tance and should be re­sponded to im­me­di­ately. The PM’s stress, from day one, has been to take the states along with the Cen­tre to strengthen the federal struc­ture,” the min­is­ter said. “The bu­reau­cracy is an in­te­gral part of de­ci­sion-mak­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion, so must get the sup­port of their bosses. There can never be 100% right de­ci­sions, but they must be backed for de­ci­sions made with the right in­tent and the right clar­ity of mind, other­wise the sys­tem won't work,” said Ajay Shri­ram, CII pres­i­dent and chair­man of DCM Shri­ram Con­sol­i­dated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.