The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his sixteenth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
The Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, which largely include EPFO, ESIC, and Labour Commissioners. Secretary (Department of Labour) outlined the improvements brought in the grievance redressal system, such as introduction of online transfer of claims; electronic challans; mobile applications and SMS alerts; linking UAN to Aadhaar numbers; introduction of tele-medicine; and empanelling of more super-speciality hospitals.
Expressing concern at the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries, the Prime Minister said that Government must be sensitive to labourers’ needs. He said that in a democracy, the labourers should not have to struggle to receive their legitimate dues. He also requested introduction of a system so that the process of finalization of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance. In case of an untimely death, he said the papers should be completed within a specified time, and officers should be made accountable for the same.
During a review of the progress of the e-NAM initiative, officials mentioned that e-NAM which began in April 2016 with 21 mandis spread over 8 states, has now expanded to 250 mandis spread over 10 states. 13 States have completed the process of amending the APMC Act. The Prime Minister urged the remaining states to quickly make the required changes in the APMC Act, so that e-NAM could be enabled across the country. He said the farmer can benefit only if Assaying and Grading facilities are made available, so that the farmer can market his produce in mandis across the country. He also invited Chief Secretaries of States to give their suggestions on e-NAM.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the railway, road, power and natural gas sectors, spread over several states including Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of completing projects in time, so that cost overruns could be avoided, and the benefits of projects could reach the people, as originally envisaged. Among the projects reviewed today are: Phase-II of the Multi-Modal Transport System for Hyderabad and Secundarabad; the Angamaly-Sabarimala Railway Line; the Delhi-Meerut Expressway; the Renok-Pakyong Road project in Sikkim; and Phase-5 of the project to strengthen power infrastructure in Eastern India. Progress of the Phulpur-Haldia gas pipeline project in Uttar Pradesh was also reviewed.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). He requested all Chief Secretaries to ensure that safe drinking water is made available to the residents of all 500 towns under AMRUT. He said the word “NAGAR” in Hindi can be taken to mean provision of “Nal” (Drinking Water), Gutter (Sanitation) and Rasta (Roads). He said AMRUT should focus on citizen-centric reforms.
Connecting related issues, the Prime Minister said such reforms should extend to all departments of the Government. Mentioning the World Bank’s latest Report on Ease of Doing Business, the Prime Minister asked all Chief Secretaries and all Secretaries of the Government of India to study the report, and analyze the potential areas where there is scope for improvement in their respective departments and states. He asked for a report from all concerned in this regard, within a month, and asked the Cabinet Secretary to review the same thereafter.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Union Budget presentation is being advanced by about a month to ensure speedier implementation of projects and schemes. He urged all States to align their plans with this advancement, so that they could take maximum advantage of this move.
On the upcoming occasion of Sardar Patel Jayanti, the Prime Minister urged all Secretaries and Chief Secretaries to work towards ensuring that at least one website out of the departments and organizations under them, is available in all officially recognized Indian languages.