BJP govt continues Congress regime’s move to cut bureaucratic flab
Incidentally, the BJP government let the panel work on all its terms of reference as the mandate possibly was in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credo: Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.dehradun Updated: Jun 02, 2017 20:25 IST
They may be seen as sworn rivals but chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and his predecessor Harish Rawat appear to be on the same page on one rather extremely crucial issue: Trimming the fat army of bureaucrats.
Almost three months into office, the CM has allowed the salary grievance committee constituted by his predecessor do the spadework for reorganisation of departments.
Headed by former chief secretary Indu Kumar Pande, the panel formed in January 2016 was initially mandated to sort out anomalies relating to salary structures and allowances of officials belonging to different cadres.
Later on, two additional terms of reference were added to the panel’s mandate. “We were asked to also submit our recommendations on rationalisation of departments so that downsizing of bureaucracy could be carried out,” Pande said.
Other terms of reference include exploring the scope of application of uniform service rules and revision of financial rules dating back to the British period.“The Centre has already revised the general financial rules that were guided by the Government of India Act of 1935.”
Incidentally, the BJP government let the panel act according to all its terms of reference as the mandate was possibly in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credo: Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
Pande agreed that one of the objectives of the panel was to cut the growing bureaucratic flab so as to make the governance more efficient. “It (panel) will also look into the possibility whether small departments can be merged with major ones or relevant departments can be allowed to function independently etc.”
The previous dispensation felt that the growing bureaucratic flab was a huge drain on exchequer, he said. It was also felt that the fat army of personnel tends to reduce their efficiency. Pande added that the panel would have to concentrate on major departments including forest, health, irrigation, agriculture and rural development.
He agreed that rationalising so many departments is an enormous and highly complex exercise. “Education department, for instance, itself is divided into four separate units—primary, secondary, higher and Sanskrit education besides NCERT.”
Pande said the Rawat government may extend the term of the panel. “We were supposed to submit our report on rationalisation of departments by June 1. Since the process is complex and time consuming, we will request for an extension of the panel.”