Outlining his larger vision for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his council of ministers for the first time on Monday and laid down the ground rules to ensure good governance and development. The PM also asked his ministers to offer innovative ideas to cater to the “high aspirations” of the people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during his arrival at the Prime Minister's Office at South Block in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)
During the three-hour long meeting that started at 6pm, Modi is also believed to have set the agenda for the next five years on the twin pillars of good governance and development. While emphasising the need for transparency in the process of governance, Modi also directed his ministers to involve experts in their respective fields for guidance and to ensure better results.
The meeting came soon after the PM asked his ministers to set the agenda for the next 100 days, indicating the pace at which he wishes to lead the new NDA government.
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Hours before meeting his council of ministers, Modi indicated in a meeting with a BJD delegation led by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik that he was keen to move fast and would not like any delay in rolling out key policies.
“I am going to roll out policy decisions now and not wait till the Budget,” he is learnt to have told the BJD delegation.
When Bhartruhari Mahtab, the BJD leader in the Lok Sabha, mentioned how Odisha only gets 6% of 2009 prices as royalty on minerals resulting in a daily revenue loss of Rs. 5 crore, Modi indicated that he might take a decision on the issue soon.
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Modi, who is known to push civil servants for greater participation in running the government, will start meeting departmental secretaries in batches from Tuesday. In these meetings, the PM is expected to ask the secretaries about their action plans. Before the NDA government was sworn in, the cabinet secretary, at the urging of Modi, had sought suggestions from all departmental secretaries on “achievable targets and goals in the next five years”.
Secretaries have been divided into four batches. All top finance ministry bureaucrats are in the first batch, while power, petroleum, coal, renewable energy and mines secretaries are in the second lot. Secretaries handling infrastructure departments like road, shipping, railways and civil aviation are in the third batch, and others are in the last batch.
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Modi is also believed to have asked his cabinet ministers to give substantial work to their juniors. As Modi is heading a smaller cabinet, ministers of state are expected to play more significant roles with cabinet ministers handling multiple key portfolios.