Perform or perish: Modi to bureaucrats

PM pushes for corporate-style work culture, suggests office timing from 8 am-6 pm

Perform or perish: Modi to bureaucrats

On the lines of corporate work ethics, Central government employees may have to work from 8 am to 6 pm. 

As fresh details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with top secretaries on Wednesday started emerging,  it became known that he wants  government employees to productively spend time in office.

However, for efficiency in governance they would be entitled to two hours lunch break. The prime minister made it clear that he would not accept employees taking it easy, turning up late for work or leaving their desk unattended during the office hours.

Underlining his new message of “perform or perish”, Modi hinted that those who were not ready to work harder could resign from their jobs.

He said cleaner offices, properly attired staff and an efficient approach to problems could go a long way in transforming the way things functioned.

Asking the secretaries to keep the buildings clean, he said spitting on walls and untidy corridors, the hallmark of any government office, should be a thing of the past. Modi added he would not mind taking a stroll to check for himself their condition.

Modi said he would adopt a no-nonsense attitude when it came to office discipline. He would act against those moonlighting by bunking work after signing the attendance register or playing cards and other games during the office hours.

“I was shocked to see some employees loitering in adjacent parks during office hours,” he is said to have remarked.

Modi appearing to be serious on his promise of good governance told employees to pull up their socks and be committed to their work.

The bureaucracy, unaccustomed to previous prime ministers issuing such diktats, has gone into a huddle,  wondering what could come next from the new regime.

Modi urged them to work without fear or favour and approach him “directly” for smooth delivery of services to the common people. Modi cited the change he had brought about as chief minister in Gujarat’s government offices with new timings.

He urged the bureaucrats to “try out” the proposed schedule when some of them suggested that it would be difficult to come to work at 8 am due to the extreme weather patterns in Delhi. Modi sought the officials’ feed-back before taking a final call.

However, it was not all work and no play. Dangling the carrot of rewards for better output, Modi talked of a new performance model that would see salaries go up for those who were efficient and prompt in delivery.

In the same vein, Modi said, no new posts would be created in any government department and wanted fresh recruitment only in case of absolute  necessity.

Modi’s hard talk saw top officials carrying out surprise checks in their offices  on attendance. Some offices saw spring cleaning and applying of fresh coat of paint, expecting the new prime minister to walk in any time.

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