Modi to PMO: Zero tolerance on corruption, heed states

Tags: News
A day after setting up the special investigation team (SIT) to probe billions of dollars worth of black money held by Indians abroad, prime minister Narendra Modi mooted ‘zero tolerance’ of corruption during his regime.

“Zero tolerance on corruption was articulated by the prime minister at the meeting of PMO officials today,” divulged an insider privy to proceedings of this meeting at South Block.

However, the official PMO press release did not mention that Narendra Modi spoke about corruption-related issues at the meeting in South Block.

Prime minister Modi also urged his officials to resolve issues raised by state chief ministers and public representatives ‘on priority basis’. He also directed his officials to leverage the latest technology to speed up resolution of public grievances referred to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The PM encouraged the bureaucrats to freely come up with ideas to resolve tricky issues that the PMO is saddled with. On issues flagged by state governments, Modi’s directive was to prioritise their resolution and treat them with sensitivity.

This comes in the wake of his oft-talked idea of involving chief ministers in decision-making processes at the Centre. “…This (resolving state issues) is important because country’s progress lies in the progress of states and this will strengthen the federal structure,” the prime minister, who was chief minister of Gujarat for 13 years, said.

During his six-month-long election campaign, Modi had emphasised more than once the need for the Cente and states to work through an institutional mechanism.

In effect, Modi had mooted the idea of reviving the defunct national development council into an effective operational powerhouse and also consider setting up a standing committee of chief ministers to deal with federal issues.

Modi’s directive to expedite issues raised by public representatives assumes significance in the wake of complaints by many members of Parliament, legislatures and other bodies that PMO did not act on their representations fast enough. His preference for using technology to find solutions to public grievances is consistent with the high-tech election campaign he conducted for the BJP and NDA partners.

The idea seems to be to connect PMO with people through social networking forums, monitor progress effectively and hasten the decision-making process on projects and issues.

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