New Delhi/November 1 (NG News)
Pehle paas paas aaiye; phir saath saath chaliye (We are one team. Let us bring openness in Governance, come closer and work together), this was the message of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Union Government Secretaries on Saturday when he had an informal interaction with them over high tea at his residence.
Modi urged secretaries to work together and decisively to build upon the momentum and positive atmosphere generated in the first five months of the new government.
“Good things are starting to happen,” the Prime Minister said, as he encouraged Secretaries to come up with new ideas and proposals for the forthcoming Union Budget.
He asked all Government departments to pre-pone budget related processes by three months, so that the moment a new financial year begins on April 1st, work could begin as per the provisions of the new Budget in real-time. He also called for shifting Government emphasis from output to outcome.
Referring to the Swachhta Abhiyaan, the Prime Minister said that based on feedback he was receiving on social media, attitudes of people were beginning to change, and the entire mission was already becoming people-driven. The Prime Minister said cleanliness is not about resources but about attitudes.
The Prime Minister 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.
Modi called upon the senior Government officers to study the ideas and suggestions being received on the MyGov platform. He said individuals giving good suggestions need to be identified, and teams can be built in this fashion.
He assured them that there would be no political interference and asked Secretaries to work fearlessly in the interest of the nation. He expressed appreciation for the involvement in various subjects that the Secretaries had exhibited in the course of conversation, and said this augured well for the country.
Secretaries expressed their views on a range of issues in a free and frank manner. They spoke of the initiatives they had taken over the last five months, and gave suggestions on what could be done in the near future, and beyond. They said they had got a new direction to work for the nation under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
This was the second such interaction that the Prime Minister had with Secretaries, the first being on June 4th this year. More than 80 Secretary-level officers were present at the interaction.
Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu were also present, along with the National Security Advisor, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary and Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.