Modi to secys: Give list of laws that can be scrapped for fast decisions

The secretaries briefed Modi on reasons why some of them have not been able to achieve results in several key sectors.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: June 5, 2014 8:13 am
Modi greets secretaries ahead of the meeting, in New Delhi Wednesday. PTI Modi greets secretaries ahead of the meeting, in New Delhi Wednesday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told top officers of the government to review all antiquated Acts that can be removed from the statute books for governance to improve. He has also told them that he will support them completely in their decision-making.

“Give me 10 laws each in your department, which we can repeal,” the Prime Minister is learnt to have told the secretaries of all ministries and departments who met him Wednesday evening at his office.

The secretaries briefed Modi on reasons why some of them have not been able to achieve results in several key sectors. They mentioned the threat of action by the CBI against several serving and retired officers for policy decisions and also mentioned the lack of support from former ministers for their actions at times.

According to a release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Modi “encouraged the officers to take decisions and assured them he would stand by them. He empathised with the sentiments expressed by the secretaries and their anguish in not being able to realise their potential because of circumstances. He assured them he will always be ready to give an account of the decisions taken by him”.

An official who attended the two-and-a-half hour meeting said, “It was a highly frank discussion as it ought to be at this level”. The comments by some of the officers were in response to the series of botched policy actions in key economic ministries, including coal, telecom and power in the past few years that had resulted in charges of corruption, vigilance and audit inquiries creating policy paralysis in the government.

“The PM listened to the secretaries carefully. The discussion was not sector specific. Officers could speak on any of the challenges or issues they thought were the most pressing and how it can be addressed,” said another source.

The PM said through use of information technology, administrative and schematic convergence among departments is possible. “Only through collective action faster results can be achieved,” he said explaining why he had converged some ministries. Modi asked the bureaucracy to work on the implementation of policies by creating long lasting institutions and simplified governance structures. The secretaries will be later called in groups to make presentations on their departments.

Reacting to the meeting with secretaries, Shashi Tharoor said, “It is entirely the prerogative of the PM whom we wants to meet. He can meet the lowliest officer in the Government of India if he so chooses.”

“And if indeed he is going to run such a hands on government, then he is going to be working very long hours. But that is his prerogative and the Congress party will not sit in judgement on those issues. But having said that I am a little curious about whether he has forgotten that he does have ministries in all these ministries. Having dismantled the Empowered Group of Ministers, has he now given us dis-empowered ministers,” the Congress MP added.

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  1. P
    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:38 am
    13 confidential files missing from Rail Bhavan before power shift,what a surprise!!! Perhaps big rats in charge of RB ate them to hide their g thefts. Mr.PM,please don't let them go unpunished because thieves belongs to prisons without any mercy.
  2. B
    BAPTY.s Seshasayee
    Jun 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm
    Mr THAROOR why are u so concerned about modiji and his govt. he is answerable to people of India who gave him very sensibly absolute majority and you guys 44 the lowest ever, so you can't even be heading the opposition , I am afraid whether anyone wants to sit with u guys.
  3. K
    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    The initiative taken by the PM is a welcome move to infuse the required confidence in the Bureaucrats for facilitating bold decisions with ured back up from the PM.This will facilitate improved efficiency in the Bureaucrats with a degree of Accountability & authority.Mr Sashi Tharoor has the habit of criticising any thing & every thing that relates to Mr Narendra Modi.He forgets that in Congress it was all the time Sonia & Rahul & no one evr dared to even think of any ideas.Knowing the caliber of the 2 no wonder Congress ended up being humiliated by the electorate.
  4. A
    Arun Kumar
    Jun 5, 2014 at 8:49 am
    Shashi Tahroor who was an embelishment value as a EAM for State and subsequently HRD should learn to keep his gob shut for some time.
  5. M
    Maddy Singh
    Jun 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    If Sonia hi and Rahul hi are asked to justify nine EGoMs and 31 GoMs, they will surely look blank and evade the question.They might not have any clue, as a cabal of aids, lackeys and ministers just paddled any thing they fancied or might aid them in their greedy objectives or else.Having little or no vision, no administrative experience, they just agreed to any thing.
  6. D
    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm
    In the corporate world, this would be called a "skip level" meeting, where you meet your boss's boss. It is then possible to have a frank discussion about your boss as well, without the risk of antagonising him or her.This is a novel move by the PM, and it should go a long way in re-energising the bureaucracy. While not every bureaucrat is dynamic, literally each one of them has the power to cripple decision making. By empowering them, the PM ensures that at least the better ones will deliver on their own. The rest will need goading and prompting.Mr. Tharoor's mocking of the move is misplaced. Given his back-ground in foreign service, he is better placed to appreciate form rather than substance.
  7. J
    Jun 5, 2014 at 9:19 pm
    This type of conversation and reports in government has unheard of from previous admins. I sincerely hope people from his own party do not topedo his agenda! Good comments from most especially Taroor; we néed moe opposition part members partcularly Congress to support for his government to work efficiently.
  8. A
    Jun 5, 2014 at 6:08 am
    ha ha ha ....... it means give me all the check points which are preventing US and Western Enies from buying Mother India cheaply .....................................
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