‘Repeal at least 10 redundant rules’

Following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on June 4, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has asked all government Secretaries to formulate a plan of action “immediately” on sprucing up the workspace and simplifying procedures.

Among the 11 points that Mr. Seth in his letter has asked the Secretaries to act upon, latest by Monday, are “identify and repeal at least 10 rules or processes…that are redundant.” The PM had told the officials to do away with rules and processes that complicated and delayed decision-making.

“The first Action Taken Report in respect of sprucing up the work space/ building should reach me by 6th June positively, so that the PM can also be apprised,” the letter said, adding that “passages and stairs should be cleaned up to make it unobstructed and no office material/almirah etc should be found in these spaces. Inside the rooms too, the files, papers etc should be neatly stacked.”

Following the meeting with the PM, several Secretaries had initiated measures to clean up offices, but the Cabinet Secretary’s official order detailing what had to be done has taken some senior officials by surprise. Mr. Seth has said he would review and monitor interim progress on these points, asking for details of achievements under each every month.

Mr. Seth has ordered that all government forms be restricted to one page as far as possible, and levels of decision-making should not exceed four. He has also called for modalities of “fulfilling promises made to the people.”

Mr. Modi will start a series of meetings with groups of secretaries from June 9 in which interlinked departments will make presentations on the current status and the path ahead.

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