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Suggest transformational budget ideas, act fearlessly, PM Modi tells secretaries
Posted On : Saturday,November1,2014 21:10:33 PM
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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narenadra Modi has asked senior officials to come up with transformational ideas for next year's budget and shift focus from output to outcome. The PM also tried to calm the nerves of the bureaucrats, advising them to take bold decisions without fear and that he would stand by them.

Modi's message to more than 80 secretaries came at a high tea he hosted for them at his residence on Saturday evening.

He assured the top civil servants there would be no political interference in decision-making. His assurance came in view of the Supreme Court order doing away with Section 6 of the Delhi Police Establishment Act which forbade investigating agencies from lodging FIRs against officers of the rank of joint secretary and above without prior clearance.

'Advance budget work by 3 months'

Modi said they would be protected against prosecution so long as they acted with the right intent and without fear or favour in the interest of the nation.

He said all government departments to advance budget related processes by three months so that the moment the new financial year starts in April, work can begin on the budget proposals.

The PM called upon secretaries to work together and decisively build upon the momentum and positive atmosphere generated in the first five months of the new government. "We are one team. Let's bring openness in governance, come closer and work together," PM told the secretaries in his informal meet. "Good things are starting to happen," Modi said and encouraged secretaries for fresh ideas.

Reviving growth and steering the economy out of the choppy waters is on the top of the agenda of Modi government which is keen that the 2015-16 budget triggers growth.

The Modi government has embarked on a drive to shore up governance and rejuvenate the bureaucracy. It has taken several steps to end policy paralysis which set in after the previous UPA regime was hit by a clutch of scandals.

Modi asked officers to study the ideas and suggestions received on the "Mygov" platform and said individuals giving good suggestions need to be identified.

The top bureaucrats expressed views on a range of issues and spoke about the initiatives taken in the last five months. They also suggested what could be achieved in the near future and beyond.

The PM stressed on the "Swachh Bharat" campaign and detailed how it will require a change in mindset of people and urged secretaries to take personal interest. Recalling an anecdote, he said 12 truckloads of rubbish was taken out of PMO alone.

Modi suggested that all secretaries visit the place of their first posting for a couple of days as this would provide them several new insights on policy-making.

"He said that if we find there is not much change in the past 30 years then we need to see what went wrong and nothing improved. PM asked us to take bold decisions and work hard," said one of the officials present at the meeting, the PM's second such interaction.

The PM asked secretaries to take charge of the implementation of the "Digital India" initiative in their respective ministries.

"It was a free and frank exchange of ideas and views. The PM asked us to contact him by mail on any issues that we feel is important or any new ideas," said another secretary.

"It was a relaxed evening and PM interacted freely and asked for ideas and said he was fully behind bureaucrats," another secretary told TOI.

Home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu were among those present.

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