BU­REAU­CRATS FACE PM SCRU­TINY AHEAd OF 2019

Babus who are still op­pos­ing PM Modi’s way of work­ing likely to be shunted out.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

With l ess than 18 months re­main­ing of his gov­ern­ment—if the gen­eral elec­tions are held in April 2019, as they are sched­uled to be—Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi is slated to do one fi­nal ma­jor “surgery” of the top bu­reau­cracy and re­place the “dead wood” and in­ept of­fi­cials with new ones.

Of­fi­cials aware of the de­vel­op­ment said that the bu­reau­cratic shuf­fle will be car­ried out while keep­ing the past ser­vice of the bu­reau­crats in view. The bu­reau­crats, who have not yet ac­cepted PM Modi’s way of work­ing—which is more work and less talk—will be re­placed.

The all pow­er­ful Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice (PMO) is also go­ing to wit­ness the in­tro­duc­tion of new faces.

Sources said that in­puts re­ceived from mul­ti­ple or­gan­i­sa­tions, gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal, are be­ing taken into ac­count to iden­tify bu­reau­crats who have not mended their ways de­spite re­peated no­tices and have con­tin­ued to stall work or do it at a very leisurely pace.

Of­fi­cial sources said that of­fi­cials work­ing with the “econ­omy” re­lated depart­ment will come in for spe­cial scru­tiny as the feed­back re­ceived by the PMO sug­gest that de­mon­eti­sa­tion and GST would have given much bet­ter re­sultd if they were ex­e­cuted more pro­fes­sion­ally. The lack of se­ri­ous­ness on the part of some bu­reau­crats re­gard­ing ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­mon­eti­sa­tion, as was vi­su­alised by the PM, has led to a neg­a­tive per­cep­tion of the whole ex­er­cise in some quar­ters.

Feed­back from or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS) and the BMS ( Bharatiya Maz­door Sangh, the RSSaf­fil­i­ated labour union), as well as in­puts from the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies re­gard­ing the con­duct of the of­fi­cials out­side of­fice, in­clud­ing spend­ing habits, are one among the mul­ti­ple cri­te­ria that will be adopted to ef­fect the reshuf­fle.

Ever since com­ing to power, PM Modi has tried to rein in the no­to­ri­ous In­dian bu­reau­cracy, which was treated with kid gloves dur­ing the time of the United Pro­gres­sive Al­liance (UPA). Sources said that a large chunk of the bu­reau­cracy was still not happy with the Modi style of func­tion­ing. PM Modi is a worka­holic and some bu­reau­crats view him as some­one who had taken away their “pow­ers” and hence they were “wait­ing and even work­ing to see him fail”.

In liv­ing up to his mantra of “per­form or per­ish”, the Modi gov­ern­ment has re­peat­edly acted tough against bu­reau­crats, some­thing that has not been seen be­fore, lead­ing to wide­spread re­sent­ment, that is not be­ing ex­pressed overtly, by se­nior bu­reau­crats.

In July, the Depart­ment of Per­son­nel and Train­ing ( DoPT) re­leased a report card, which stated that the Min­istry of Per­son­nel, Pub­lic Griev­ances and Pen­sions has taken ac­tions such as pre­ma­ture re­tire­ment and a cut in re­mu­ner­a­tions against 381 civil ser­vices of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing 24 of­fi­cers from the In­dian Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ser­vice (IAS), for be­ing non-per­form­ers and for al­legedly be­ing in­volved in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

As a re­sult of this “new” dis­ci­plined cul­ture in the bu­reau­cratic cir­cles of Delhi, the num­ber of of­fi­cers seek­ing Cen­tral dep­u­ta­tion, es­pe­cially in the IAS cadre, has de­creased.

As per the report, a to­tal of 25 Group A of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing one IAS and two IPS and 99 Group B of­fi­cers, were pre­ma­turely re­tired by the gov­ern­ment; 21 civil ser­vants, in­clud­ing 10 IAS of­fi­cers, “re­signed” and penal­ties like dis­missal, re­moval or com­pul­sory re­tire­ment and cuts in pen­sion were im­posed on 37 Group A of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing five from the IAS.

In ad­di­tion to this, 199 Group A of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing eight from the IAS, were pe­nalised in terms of re­mu­ner­a­tion cuts.

REUTERS

Bel­gium’s King Philippe looks on as Queen Mathilde hits a ball as they play cricket with chil­dren at a ground in Mum­bai on Fri­day, dur­ing their In­dia visit.

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