Modi motivates bureaucracy to act, offers to scrap laws for faster decision-making

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have told top officials of the government to review all antiquated Acts that can be scrapped to make way for smooth governance. He has also offered full support for them in decision making.

Modi on Wednesday met all secretaries of the various departments who briefed him on reasons why some of them have not been able to achieve results in several key sectors.

''Give me 10 laws each in your department, which we can repeal,'' the prime minister is reported to have told the secretaries.

Officials raised the threat of CBI action as in the case of action taken against several serving and retired officers in the scams such as coal block allocation and 3G licensing and the lack of support from ministers for their actions at times.

The officials were annoyed by 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.

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'', a release issued by the prime minister's office said.

Officials 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 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 they can be addressed,'' sources said.

And despite the scrapping of the inter-ministerial groups, 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.