South Asian Insider
'Reach office on time, avoid working from home': PM Modi to council of ministers
In the first meeting of the council of ministers after the Modi-led dispensation assumed charge last month, the prime minister also asked senior ministers to hand-hold the new incumbents, sources said after the meeting. Reach office on time and avoid working from home to set an example for others -- these were some of the instructions Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave to the council of ministers on Wednesday. In the first meeting of the council of ministers after the Modi-led dispensation assumed charge last month, the prime minister also asked senior ministers to hand-hold the new incumbents, sources said after the meeting. Seeking to give more role to ministers of state, he said important files should be shared with them by the cabinet ministers. This, he said, would enhance productivity. For ensuring faster approval on files, Modi said both the cabinet minister and his junior colleague can sit together to clear proposals, the sources said. Emphasising on punctuality, Modi said all the ministers should reach office on time and spend a few minutes discussing latest developments in the ministry with the officials. He further said ministers should come to office on a regular basis and avoid working from home. At the same time they should keep meeting party MPs and general public on a regular basis and can start by meeting parliamentarians from their respective states, while suggesting that there is not much difference between a minister and an MP. Modi also talked about the five-year agenda which every ministry has to formulate and an impactful decision needs to be taken in the first 100 days of the government. During the meeting, Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar made a presentation on optimal utilisation of the Parliament session beginning Monday. Tomar was the parliamentary affairs minister in the previous government. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made a presentation on inviting inputs for the Union Budget which will be presented on July 5. Railway minister Piyush Goyal made a presentation on five year vision document for each Union ministry, the sources said. The meeting of council of ministers was a regular feature in the previous tenure of the Modi government. He used to brief them about the government's various welfare schemes and how to make people aware about them. Modi used to review the performances of key ministries and sectors. The Union Cabinet will also meet on Wednesday ahead of the council of ministers' meeting. With the Parliament session beginning next week, the ministers of state will have a key role as in most of the ministries they are responsible to handle parliamentary questions which are tabled on the floor of the House. Cabinet ministers usually handle questions for which oral replies are to be given. In the first cabinet meeting, the Modi government had approved the expansion of the PM-KISAN scheme to cover all farmers who will get Rs 6,000 financial assistance per annum.
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