Modi's warning to babus, shape up or ship out

Modi's warning to babus, shape up or ship out

“Shape up or ship out” will be prime minister-designate Narendra Modi’s new mantra to bureaucrats when he assumes office and addresses them on May 26, his close aides said.

Modi will deliver his “dos and don’ts” with emphasis on “minimum government and maximum governance,” while pledging to back them for their initiatives, they said.

Modi wants the Prime Minister’s Office to “regain” its primacy and act as the nodal point for all key ministries to identify and resolve issues and act with efficiency, which will be the buzz word, the aides said.

Already, in preparation for the first interaction with the new prime minister, a flurry of activities have begun in the Cabinet Secretariat.  

Cabinet Secretary Ajith Seth and secretaries of different departments and ministries on Wednesday discussed issues, including the price situation and the government’s preparedness to deal with the possible failure of the monsoon.

They took note of retail inflation as a result of high prices of pulses, rise, mustard oil, fresh fish, green chillies, vegetables, fruit and firewood.

The cabinet secretary also discussed the prevailing foodgrain situation in the country and whether the current stock will be enough if India were to face El-Nino induced floods or drought.

Official sources told Deccan Herald that the next round of discussion could be held on the state of infrastructure projects in the country and what is holding them back. Emphasis will also be on labour-intensive manufacturing sector.

With inputs provided by other officials, Seth readied a number of crucial issues for Modi to consider. As Modi prefers a powerpoint presentation, the officials put together a set of key areas, including power, railways, shipping, tourism, coal, civil aviation and telecom.

Expecting Modi to take a re-look at the programmes of the Vajpayee government (1998-2004), the officials started culling data about status of then popular programmes, including Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Sarva Shiksha Abiyan, Anna Antyodaya Yojana, golden quadrilateral project and port connectivity.

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