Way back in 2016, State Cabinet in its wisdom ordered forming of three Groups of Ministers with the task of examining and reporting on various development projects. Almost all key departments were brought under the jurisdiction of these three Groups of Ministers. The contention was to ensure speedy completion of projects and take decision in respect of many other matters pertaining to development. In the orders forming three GoMs the Government had observed that with a view to promote coordinated policy making across the departments and ensure greater participation in decision making, forming of Groups of Ministers was necessary.
A year and half has passed by and none of the Groups has submitted the report. This is the type of treatment which Cabinet rank ministers give to the orders of the Cabinet. The question is not really of defiance. What we focus on is the inherent lethargy, lack of work culture and absence of accountability. All these factors combine to wreck havoc to the speedy implementation of schemes and projects. After all the Ministers who are placed in charge of the Group of Ministers must be well aware of the reasons for not conducting the impending meetings.
We learn that when Modi formed Government in 2014, he abolished the Groups of Ministers that had been formed at the level of the Centre. The reason he gave that this process caused delay in decision-taking and implementation of projects and his Government world not wait for long decisions. The question actually is not whether the GoM is a helpful or a distracting agony as that is not going to help. The question is of the person in driver’s seat. Modi has had self confidence in running the affairs of the Government on a different and more efficient level a part of which is his personal monitoring of the progress in different parts of the country on implementation of developmental plans. It is the job of the Chief Minister to persuade the Chairpersons of the Groups formed to respond to accountability. No time frame has been allotted to each Group to come up with its performance report. Whether Chief Minister should follow in the footsteps of Prime Minister on this matter is her discretion. But undoubtedly if she herself is available as the driving force behind the three duly constituted Groups that would be a right course to adopt. Alternatively, the task of each Group has to be put in time frame and a firm commitment needs to be obtained from the Chairpersons concerned to bring the projects to completion. At the same time, they are also tasked to fulfil other obligations and tasks as has been clarified by the General Administration Department of the State.