A month into the job, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has moved to push the state’s slow-moving bureaucracy to speed up. His government has set down detailed guidelines for department secretaries working on cabinet proposals, along with timelines for implementing decisions.
Orders issued by chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya have asked all departments to submit weekly status reports on cabinet proposals to the chief secretary’s office and the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
“We have realised that even after decisions are taken in the cabinet, they are not implemented quickly. Some cabinet proposals have been pending for more than a year, circulating from one department to another for their opinions,” said an official in the CMO.
For instance, he said, Fadnavis’ decision to ease the regulatory regime – by reducing the permissions required for setting up an industry in the state from 78 to 20 – cannot be implemented unless departments such as industry, labour, urban development and revenue co-ordinate and decide fast.
Many of the decisions taken by the previous government in its last three months, in marathon Cabinet meetings, have also remained on paper.
The order by Kshatriya has now asked all secretaries to prepare a note, on proposals floated in the Cabinet, within a month of a minister asking for it. The parent department, which moves the note, has also been asked to immediately circulate it among other departments concerned.
These departments have been given a deadline of 30 days to give their opinions on the proposal. After the proposal is cleared by the Cabinet, it has to be implemented in seven days.
The status of the decision will also have to be submitted within a month to the CS office.
Sources in the bureaucracy, however, said faster decision-making was easier said than done, and if all legal procedures are to be followed, it is bound to take time.