PM inspired by Malaysian performance report system

Achchhe din: Modi wants to keep Cabinet colleagues on their toes, deliver on poll promises

PM inspired by Malaysian performance report system

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to overhaul the system to manage and evaluate performance of the Union government, incorporating elements of the well-acclaimed mechanism put in place by his Malaysian counterpart Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak.

Modi, who reached Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday, is likely to seek some tips from Najib when they meet on the sidelines of the India-Asean and East Asian summits at the capital of Myanmar.

To keep his Cabinet colleagues on their toes and deliver on the BJP’s poll promise to bring “achchhe din” (good days), the prime minister is understood to be keen on revamping the Performance Management and Evaluation System (PMES), currently run by a division at the Union government’s Cabinet Secretariat.

Senior government officials said Modi developed a keen interest in the system put in place by the Malaysian prime minister after some top management professionals briefed him about it. 

Najib set up the Performance Management and Delivery Unit, commonly known as PEMANDU, in his office in September 2009, just a few months after taking over. 

PEMANDU oversees implementation, assesses progress, facilitates and supports delivery and drives progress of the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme launched by Najib, who heads the unit as its chairman.

“PEMANDU works by bringing together all stakeholders and government departments connected with a sector, like education or plantations. They are provided facilitators and use a systematic process to develop an agreed-upon plan within 100 days or less to produce the results required,” Arun Maira, a management consultant and former member of the Planning Commission of India, told Deccan Herald.

“Since all participate, and since a systematic process is used, the plans are rigorous and supported by all. Therefore, they can be implemented efficiently,” added Maira, who studied the Malaysian system.

What made Modi interested in PEMANDU is its role in catalysing changes in public and private-sector delivery, supporting Malaysian government ministries in the delivery planning process and providing an independent view of performance and progress to the prime minister and other ministers.

India’s PMES, which assesses annual performance of each government department based on targets fixed at the start of the financial year, has virtually nothing to do with the private sector.   

Modi conveyed to Najib his keen interest in PEMANDU when the Malaysian prime minister called on him on October 21. He also expressed his desire to incorporate certain elements of it in the PMES.

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