“communication gap” in this team was absolutely untenable. He urged all secretaries to consult each other regularly. In the course of the interaction, the prime minister described the officers as one team and appreciated the good work done by the team over the last 10 months.
This is the third meeting that PM has had with union secretaries, the top bureaucrats with maximum decision-making power, after the NDA government came to power in May last year. Earlier, he had two such meetings, the first one on June 4, 2014, and then on November 1, 2014.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister reiterated his view that officers in the government should have the freedom and protection for objective, honest decision-making, and said efforts were being made to ensure this, according to an official release issued by the PMO. The PMO release itself said, it was an “informal” meeting, but did not mention how many secretaries actually turned up for that informal interaction. The photograph released after the occasion clearly shows a large number of absentees.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Vice-chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya, Member of NITI Aayog Bibek Debroy, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, principal secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra and additional principal secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra were present in the meeting.
Prime Minister specially mentioned two “good works” in the last 10 months: Success of coal block auctions and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
The interaction was followed by high tea on the Panchvati lawns.