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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the central government secretaries to be like “leaders” of their departments and use the domain knowledge of officers and vast data available with the government while framing policies and executing works. The PM said if they harness these, there would be hardly any requirement for engaging consultants, sources said.
Sources said the PM also said he was perplexed to see why execution of works is slow even when officers and departments have enough domain knowledge and skills.
In his first physical interaction with secretaries since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the PM also asked them to reach out to all officials in their departments and use their expertise for better results. “The PM said being the head of the department, we should interact with staff across all levels… This would give a lot of confidence to the staff across all levels. There is a need to use the available government data intelligently for best results. He said we have to constantly work on improving things,” said an official.
The PM’s call to secretaries comes at a time when the government has put a lot of focus on expeditious implementation of projects and schemes. This is also being seen as a departure from the earlier government when political bosses blamed the bureaucracy. The PM’s comment also gains importance considering that the government has announced big bang reforms and a massive target for monetisation of assets, which would require decisive leadership in bureaucracy.
Officials said secretaries from different departments also spoke during the interaction, most of them mentioning the steps taken by their respective departments.

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