PMO spells out priority list on legal & admn initiatives

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 15 2011, 03:44am hrs
Keen to dispel the impression that the UPA government suffers from a policy paralysis, the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) has swung into action, spelling out legal and administrative initiatives high on its agenda.

Topping the list of priority areas is the Lokpal Bill, which is likely to be brought before the Cabinet on December 19 and a new transparent public procurement policy based on e-auctioning. Electoral reforms which, chief election commissioner

S Y Quraishi said would be finalised very soon, are also high on the agenda.

In all, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not just identified 19 areas of importance (see box) for his government, but decided to develop a software which will help the PMO monitor performances of various ministries.

At a meeting held at the PMO on Tuesday, Singh went over a mid-year analysis of the government, which seems to be hamstrung by political pulls and pressures and presiding over a stuttering economy.

Principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Pulok Chatterjee has devised a time-line by which all ministries will give status updates on the progress in their respective areas of action. The ministries will be brought under a delivery monitoring system by the PMO.

Every ministry has to upload a report by the fifth of every month, the posting and updating of comments from the sector side, are to be done by the 9th, the collating of all this has to be done and the report submitted to the Prime Minister by the 12th of every month, said a PMO official.

Reports are to be submitted, and comments uploaded over the internet or the PMO intranet. The software for this is ready for use, added the official.

Gram nyayalayas, land acquisition bill still hanging fire at the parliamentary standing committee on rural development will also be given a push. While policy thrust areas have been identified, none of them relate to crucial second generation economic reforms.

Many of the financial bills are still pending with the standing committee on finance or with the empowered group of

finance ministers, therefore these have not been listed, said an official.

Infrastructure areas like coal, power sector and sea ports are very much on the agenda, added the official.

As the new year approaches, government sources are hoping that a renewed thrust on key areas, and a new christmas wish list may do the trick.