The government has decided to cut down the time-frame for completion of inter-ministerial consultations to two weeks and asked Secretaries of ministries to provide “necessary/critical” inputs for Cabinet proposals within the stipulated time.

“Secretary of such ministry/department who could not communicate inputs to the sponsoring ministry/department in time, could be required to indicate such inputs during the meeting of the Cabinet along with reasons for not having been able to provide the comments in time,” the latest office memorandum of the Cabinet Secretariat, issued on Friday, said.

Reiterating its office memorandum of May 27, the Cabinet Secretariat made it clear that in all cases where the notes for the Cabinet or Cabinet Committees are required to be circulated for inter-ministerial consultations, the entire process of consultations will be completed in two weeks’ time.

“In cases, where the consulted ministries or departments fail to forward their comments to the sponsoring departments within two weeks, the sponsoring departments will clearly indicate in the body of the note the date on which comments were sought from ministry or department concerned, and the fact that the comments of the ministries/departments consulted have not been received till finalisation of the note for the Cabinet/Cabinet Committee,” it said.

The latest circular aims to hold the higher echelons of the bureaucracy accountable and work in a time-bound manner. The circular clarified that the two-week time frame will begin from the day the ministry or department concerned delivers the draft Cabinet note to other ministries for consultations.

The Cabinet Secretariat also compressed the timeframe for providing requisite number of copies of the Cabinet Note from the recently-decided seven working days to three.

“It has further been decided that after sending a single copy of the final (Cabinet) note to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Secretariat, the time of seven working days for forwarding the requisite number of copies to the Cabinet Secretariat will stand revised to three days,” it said.

Referring to its June 11 office memorandum, the Cabinet Secretariat said the final notes received by it up to Thursday of a particular week and found to be procedurally in order, will, ordinarily, be placed for consideration of the Cabinet/Cabinet Committees in its meeting to be convened in the following week.