The Narendra Modi government will be “PMO driven”, and “very interactive”, Union Minister for Law and Justice and Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.
“The governance of Narendra Modi will be different. This is the first thing I can say. And he gave an indication of this even before he took over, asking all the secretaries to give a presentation on three points very clearly: what went wrong, what decision helped it go wrong and, if you would have been given the authority, what you would have done differently,” Prasad said at Idea Exchange at The Indian Express on Friday.
“What I am vetting is the presentation that would be made before the Prime Minister,” Prasad said. “Yesterday, he said, I (Modi) would also be sitting with all the ministers and the secretaries. Therefore, it will be a very interactive government led by the Prime Minister.
“Number two, it will be a PMO-driven government.
“Number three, it will not be a government for the GoM (group of ministers), of the GoM and by the GoM. These three things I will like to say. Decisions will not be delayed. The rules of the game will be very clear if you ask about governance,” the minister said.
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Prasad said the Prime Minister had stressed that delivery and implementation were equally important. “Ministers must ensure that whatever is there must be delivered properly and implemented. Because, the implementation aspect is at times ignored, or may be ignored. There is great insistence on that,” he said.
The policies of the UPA government had led to an all-round crisis in the economy, infrastructure, investment and investment sentiment, Prasad said. “Yesterday, I addressed a meeting of all officers of the Telecom Department. From Director level to the highest level, there was demoralisation and lingering apprehension. We will do a lot of things for changing this. I am sure we will do our best,” he said.
Asked to explain the apprehension and demoralisation, the minister said, “The Telecom Ministry was in the news for all the wrong reasons for so many years. And I could see, I could hear, get the feel from the officers. So I called them for a meeting. It was a great experience for me to listen (to them)…
“The government of India has some of the best officers possible, and they must be given the time to work, and I assured them that decisions should be taken in a transparent manner without being influenced by extraneous considerations. It should be objective and on merit, and in national interest and consumer interest. Let us work as a team. And I asked them to open up also, come up with ideas. It is simple.”
On the promulgation of an ordinance to amend the TRAI Act to remove the legal hitch to the appointment of former TRAI chairperson Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Prasad said: “First of all the focus (of the ordinance) was an individual officer. Nripendra Misra is known for his impeccable integrity, outstanding professional competence and extraordinary experience at the state as well as national level. And once the Prime Minister chose to have him as his Principal Secretary, it was thought that this was a technical hitch. And it was really a technical hitch, because in TRAI Act this is there (the bar on seeking a government appointment after serving as chairperson or member of TRAI), while it is not there in Competition Commission. If the Prime Minister is working from the word go from day one, he needs to have a PS too. Therefore, it was really an emergency situation. From what I have heard is that he had many officers in mind, but he zeroed in on Mr Nripendra Misra and, across the board, there is consensus about his professional competence.”
FULL TRANSCRIPT IN THE SUNDAY EXPRESS