Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a marathon five-hour meeting with his entire Council of Ministers, stressing that the implementation of the NDA government’s budget proposals and the promises made in the BJP manifesto were to be accorded the highest priority, and out of the box ideas were to be encouraged for the same.
The meeting was an amplification of Prime Minister Modi’s monthly meetings with his Council, except that this time, rather than taking up the work of one or two ministries, a 113-page presentation by Expenditure Secretary Shaktikanta Das covering the work of all ministries was the highlight.
With two breaks, one for tea and another for light snacks at around 8 p.m. or so, the meeting was a long review of the work of all ministries. “Mr. Modi had asked all ministries to send assessments of their work to the Expenditure Secretary, who then prepared this presentation,” said a Minister present at the meeting.
“When a couple of ministers said that they were having some practical difficulties in implementation, like allotment of land for projects in certain States, Mr. Modi said that these issues should be dealt with by encouraging out of the box solutions. He stressed that time-bound targets had to be maintained, and the proposals tailored to suit the requirements of the common man,” said the Minister.
The meeting assumes significance in the light of the fact that Delhi has been abuzz with talk of a Cabinet reshuffle. It had been dubbed as “performance appraisal” of the Council of Ministers and could have some bearing on who gets to stay in government.
Ministers who The Hindu spoke to, however, dismissed such talk saying that it was a review of past work, that had been a monthly feature. “The only difference was that in the past we reviewed implementation of Cabinet decisions while now the focus has shifted to the Budget proposals,” said a Minister(THE HINDU,2016).