Assuring civil servants that there will be "no witch hunt" in the name of fighting corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked them to be fearless and bold when it comes to taking decisions.
The prodding from the head of the government comes in the wake of the opposition's accusations of policy paralysis in the government.
Addressing civil servants on Civil Services Day on Saturday, Singh asked bureaucrats to shun the tendency of procrastinating while making decisions — fearing that things might go wrong, and they would be penalised. "It should be our endeavour that there is no witch hunting in the name of fighting corruption. It is our government's commitment to create a system and an environment to encourage civil servants to be decisive, and no one is harassed for bonafide mistakes of errors of judgment."
The Prime Minister cautioned the officers against getting swayed by the political affiliation of the establishment. "Your judgment and advice should not be affected by the nature and colour of the political leadership. If this does not happen, the impartiality and fairness of decision-making processes in public administration would be compromised and the quality of our output would be sub-optimal. This is a vigil that the civil servants must maintain constantly," Singh said.
He said there is a growing perception that the moral fibre of civil servants — and public servants in general — is not as strong as before, and that civil servants are more susceptible to extraneous pressures in the execution of duties.
"These perceptions might be exaggerated, but I do think that there is a grain of truth in them," he said, asking the civil servants to work towards razing any such perception. Speaking on inclusive growth, Singh said, "The country's growth would not have much meaning if we fail in building a truly inclusive society and country."