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India

PM cracks whip to get bureaucrats to deliver

NEW DELHI: In a span of one month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has for third time asked senior officials to shun the attitude of slow pace in decision-making and that they will be held accountable for non-completion of the assigned task.
The latest displeasure of the PM came on Wednesday through a tweet. “While reviewing key infra projects, I emphasised on two things: Speedy completion of pending development works. Upgrading infrastructure where needed. Slow pace and outdated vision adversely impacted our growth trajectory for decades. Such attitudes will NOT be tolerated now,” he tweeted after chairing a review of some of the infrastructure projects at the web-based interaction with all secretaries in Union government and state chief secretaries.
Sources said he also expressed displeasure over two top officials — a secretary at the Centre and a state chief secretary — for passing the buck on each other in a particular case and asked them to sort out the issue quickly. The PM asked the secretary that the unfinished work must be completed before he retires.
After the PM’s remarks, the ministries are now reworking on the presentations that sectoral Group of Secretaries will present before Modi in the next couple of weeks. TOI has learnt that they are sharing with the PMO the details of officials who have been assigned specific tasks so that accountability can be fixed.
Sources said the PM had also expressed his unhappiness at slow execution of work and decision-making while chairing another meeting of department heads of transport sectors. After the marathon meeting, he even said the officers “wasted” his time since he thought that most of the decisions taken won’t be translated on the ground.
It’s learnt that the PM was unhappy with the way burea- ucracy in railways had pulled back transformative changes in the sector. Sources said he even went to the extent of saying that while the Railway Board chairman would commit to deliver everything, thi- ngs won’t move on the ground.
Similarly, while reviewing the progress of the government’s flagship “Ek Bharat, Sheshtra Bharat” programme on October 12, Modi had told the secretaries that they had spoiled his first five years and he won’t allow them to do so again.
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