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Merger of departments issue blown out of proportion: UP government

Even as the Uttar Pradesh government is reportedly considering the NITI Aayog’s proposal of bringing down the number of government departments from 94 to 37, the state’s employees’ federation has warned it of not going ahead with any such move without taking it into confidence.

lucknow Updated: Dec 12, 2017 14:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath,NITI Aayog,Uttar Pradesh government
The central government think-tank had presented a report to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting complete restructuring of administrative machinery.(HT Photo)

Even as the Uttar Pradesh government is reportedly considering the NITI Aayog’s proposal of bringing down the number of government departments from 94 to 37, the state’s employees’ federation has warned it of not going ahead with any such move without taking it into confidence.

The central government think-tank had presented a report to UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting complete restructuring of administrative machinery by merging a number of departments with the ones that did more or less similar work.

“It would be a fundamental systemic overhaul. The proposal is still in its initial stage. Such decisions take time and I have no idea how long it would take to be implemented,” said additional chief secretary, planning, Sanjiv Saran, the man who heads the panel that will oversee its execution.

“Some ideas sound good on paper but can prove detrimental for both the government and its employees if implemented in an arbitrary manner,” said Yadvendra Mishra, president of the UP Sachivalaya Sangh (Secretariat Employees’ Federation).

The UP government, he said, had not yet taken them on board on the matter and association’s main concern was that their seniority (in service) may get compromised.

“There are approximately 15 lakh government employees. The restructuring is bound to have an impact on their promotional avenues and seniority,” said Mishra.

A senior spokesperson for UP government, however, said that the issue had been blown out of proportion. “The merger, if and when it happens, would not be as big as it is being made out by a section of the media. At best the pruning (departments) would be limited to 10 to 15,” he said. The exercise, he pointed out, would be undertaken keeping in mind the Prime Minister’s philosophy of minimum government, maximum governance.

A 17-member NiTi Aayog delegation had met the UP CM and submitted its proposal on streamlining government departments by merging them or restructuring them to ensure better coordination last month.

For instance, in the health sector, the Aayog said that in UP there was a separation between the departments of medical education, medical health and family welfare.

It said there was a separation between medical and health on the one hand and family welfare and NRHM on the other. Moreover, there were numerous other agencies responsible for implementing initiatives in different areas of health.

“Fragmentation of this nature leads to coordination issues and makes it difficult to establish accountability due to multiple channels of reporting,” it had pointed out.

Not all employees’ bodies, however, are opposed to the idea of integration of all government departments in the same sector.

UP power engineers have demanded merging of all power utilities in the state for efficiency. All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has urged chief minister Yogi Adityanath to integrate all nine power corporations for better coordinated action.

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 14:19 IST