In a repeat exercise, Modi sets up secretaries’ panels

Repeating his last year experiment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted as many as 10 groups of secretaries to do a mid-term review of major programmes of each ministry and suggest tax and policy proposals for the next budget. Since the government has decided to advance the presentation day of the next budget, the exercises that began in January last year has begun in November this year.
Two groups of joint secretaries have also been constituted in each sector to assist the respective group of secretaries.
The sector specific groups of secretaries have been asked to finalise the report by end-month and submit the same to the PM.
One group of secretaries tasked with suggesting strategies for doubling farmers income by 2022 held first meeting on Tuesday and had preliminary discussions.
According to sources, top bureaucrats in the groups have been asked to carry out a mid-term review of major policies and programmes of each ministry and suggest a realignment of physical targets, financial outlays and implementation strategies.
The groups have been asked to carry out a “critical review” of various schemes with a view to preparing an action plan for initiating corrective measures and monitoring mechanisms.
They have been advised to look at the possibilities of converging schemes of various ministries as also recommend new tax and non-tax initiatives for the Budget 2017-18.
The groups have also been asked to suggest new policy initiatives in each sector and make specific recommendations for job creation and review all autonomous organisations and public sector undertakings. That apart, the groups have been asked to develop foolproof mechanisms for eliminating unused funds under various schemes.
Last year too, the Prime Minister had set up eight such groups and their recommendations were incorporated in the last Budget.

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