In a pep talk, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked top bureaucrats on Saturday to ensure the next annual budget is full of “outcome-oriented transformational new ideas” and suggested that they should visit their first place of posting to get fresh “insight” for policy-making.
The Prime Minister also assured them that they would be protected and asked them to work without any fear of any adverse repercussions in the presence of two Union ministers, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh.
His assurance came after some bureaucrats said that the present anti-corruption law was not adequate to protect honest decisions.
“I assure you that there will be no political interference in decision making,” an official quoted the PM as saying at his second information meet with the secretaries since taking over. Modi also sought suggestions from them on different issues.
Jaitley allayed fear of bureaucrats that the new travel policy was restrictive and said that now joint secretary-level officials can also fly business class.
However, Modi did not agree with the suggestion that bureaucrats should be allowed to fly by private airlines, saying they will have to travel by public sector Air India.
Modi urged that the government campaigns like Swachh Bharat were bringing in mindset change in people and cited an incident where passengers in a rail bogey decided to designate a place for collecting all garbage as there was no dustbin.
He also said that 12 trucks of wastage was removed from the Prime Minister’s residence and that the entire campaign becoming people-driven.
He told the bureaucrats that Digital India campaign should be part of each department as it can transform the country. "Vision of Digital India can begin from your department," he said, while asking them to make e-governance a new mode of providing reliable public services.
Pushing the bureaucrats to have the “output to outcome-oriented” next budget, Modi asked them to expedite the budget related processes by three months so that the work on the new budget starts from April 1, the first day of the next financial year.
“Good things are starting to happen,” the PM said, as he encouraged the secretaries to come up with new ideas and proposals for the next budget.
Modi suggested that the secretaries should visit the place of their first posting as it would provide them new insights on policy-making. “If you see nothing much has changed there (at the place of first posting) we can think of what should be done to bring the change. It can improve in framing national policies,” he said.
A number of bureaucrats also made suggestions including that retired government officials can be used as digital volunteers and that the government should ensure better access to disabled.
Modi also wanted to them study new ideas from public at the government’s interactive portal mygov.in.