NEW DELHI: Amid his thrust on speedy delivery systems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked bureaucrats to do away with “archaic” rules and procedures which hamper governance by creating “avoidable confusion” and encouraged them to take decisions with a promise of backing them.
Holding a meeting collectively with 77 secretaries and senior officers of all the ministries and departments here, he asked them to approach him directly through phone or email to give suggestions or seek his intervention to resolve any issues.
During the marathon two-and-a-half hour meeting, Modi “listened extensively” to the top bureaucrats and empathized with their sentiments while noting their anguish in not being able to realize their true potential because of “circumstances”, an official statement said after the first such meeting in eight years.
Expressing full faith in their commitment and competence to build a better future for the country, he asked them to simplify and streamline administrative rules and procedures to make them people-friendly.
He said that “there may be rules and processes which have become outdated, and instead of serving the process of governance, they are leading to avoidable confusion” and stressed upon the need to “identify and do away with such archaic rules and procedures”.
Promising to be accessible to all officers, he encouraged them to approach him with their “inputs and ideas”.
He also “encouraged the officers to take decisions and assured them that he would stand by them,” the statement said.
Laying emphasis on use of technology for “greater efficiency and effectiveness in administration”, Modi said that “in a democracy, redressal of citizens’ grievances is very important, and information technology can help greatly in this regard.”
He pushed for a “team spirit” and urged the secretaries to be leaders of their teams, saying “only through collective action, faster results can be achieved.”
Offering to be always ready to give an account of the work being done by him, the Prime Minister said that “in the process of governance, ideas should be converted into institutions because institutions last longer than individuals.”
The senior bureaucrats echoed sentiment and welcomed a similar standard of accountability.
He said the process of governance of his government should begin with cleaning-up of the offices, improving the workplace, which would automatically result in a better work culture and efficient services to the citizens.
Modi said that “through the use of technology, and better understanding among departments, administrative and schematic convergence is possible.”
During the meeting, Modi made initial remarks and then asked secretaries to raise issues. About 25 secretaries spoke on the sectoral issues under their responsibility.–PTI