Next budget should be full of new ideas: PM to bureaucrats

Next budget should be full of new ideas: PM to bureaucrats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked government secretaries to come up with new ideas and proposals for the next Union Budget.

Interacting informally with more than 80 secretary-level officers over high tea at his residence for the second time since he became prime minister, Modi reiterated that they were free to call him on his mobile phone to exchange ideas for better governance.

He has also asked them to advance all budget-related processes by three months so that work could begin according to provisions of the new Budget in real time from April 1, which marks the start of financial year 2015-16. He also called for shifting the emphasis from output to outcome.

Saturday’s interaction followed a bureaucratic reshuffle that had raised fears of uncertainty among some officials.

Modi assured them that there would be no political interference, asking them to work fearlessly.

A few officials had voiced concern over the possibility of being blamed or charged in cases of corruption for taking initiatives, as had happened in the cases pertaining to 2G spectrum allocation and coal block allocation during the UPA regime. Modi called upon the senior officials to study ideas and suggestions received on the MyGov platform. He said individuals giving good suggestions need to be identified and used to build specialised teams.

Modi expressed appreciation for the secretaries’ involvement in various subjects, saying that this augured well for the country.

“Good things are starting to happen,” he said. “We are one team. Let us bring openness in governance, come closer and work together.”

Referring to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Modi said based on feedback he had got on social media, attitudes of people were beginning to change and the entire mission was becoming people-driven.

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