Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: According top priority for ensuring time-bound implementation of the UPA government’s flagship programmes, new initiatives and iconic projects, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set up a ‘Delivery Monitoring Unit’ (DMU) in his office.

Headed by the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary T. K. A. Nair, the DMU was set up in July and earlier this week the Prime Minister acquainted himself of the mechanism of the DMU. Keeping up the promise made in the President’s address to the joint session of Parliament on June 4 that a DMU would be set up within 100 days of the UPA government assuming office in its second innings, the unit was set up within 33 days on July 7.

The DMU is designed to ensure monitoring by the Prime Minister’s Office on selected programmes. While in the UPA-1 there were 101 items in the National Common Minimum Programme which were being “monitored” by the PMO, the list has been reduced to a select menu of 18 items of high visibility and high impact projects, officials in the PMO said.

The role of DMU is to ensure effective delivery through regular monitoring of outputs, fast-track implementation and trouble-shoot through periodic reviews. The basic design is that the Prime Minister will be kept informed of the progress on these select programmes on a quarterly basis. Accordingly, the first report is likely to be presented to the Prime Minister in early October. The primary objective is to place the report in the public domain so that it is available to the citizens as well as to the Prime Minister.

However, it was also stressed that the DMU would in no way dilute the role of the administrative ministries in these programmes. The inputs/reports would be used to facilitate speedy implementation of these programmes and, if necessary, help ensure course correction. Beginning September 15, 2009, the Ministries will start placing information in the public domain under the title “DMU Reports” on their respective website home page.

Three categories

There are three categories of programmes to be monitored by DMU: Flagship Programmes: (NREGA, NRHM, SSA, JNNURM, Bharat Nirman, Multi-Sectoral District Plans for Minority Districts; New Initiatives: Mission on Female Literacy; Rajiv Awas Yojana; NCHE; NCHRH; Innovation Universities – Decade of Innovation; Strengthening of Public Accountability through Right to Information, Public Date Policy, Independent Evaluation Office, Annual Reports and the Iconic Projects: Dedicated Railway Freight Corridor, Land Ports, Assam Gas Cracker Project, PM’s Reconstruction Plan for J&K, Infrastructure Development in North East

Dr. Singh had stressed that what was put on in the public domain should be real time data, accessible to the every citizen. He pointed out that the DMU was part of the UPA government’s commitment to bring about maximum transparency and accountability in the governing process.