Improve delivery systems, PM tells bureaucrats

April 21st, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) Lauding the civil services for their contribution to processes of nation building, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said bureaucrats must do more to address public dissatisfaction and instil confidence in people. “If inclusive growth is our agenda as it must be, there could be no better champions for it than our civil service which by its very nature draws people from all over the country,” said Singh while addressing the third Civil Services Day here Monday.

In the same breath, Singh exhorted the civil services to be fair, honest and efficient.

“So much for the good news! To complete the picture we must introspect and recognise that there is a great deal of public dissatisfaction with the functioning of government, at all levels,” said Singh.

“This challenge the civil service must endeavour to address as a collective entity. The most important challenge is of instilling confidence in our people that our civil services are fair, honest as well as efficient.”

Singh urged the huge gathering at Vigyan Bhavan to rise to the occasion so that each section of the society’s grievance is adequately addressed.

“The poor and the underprivileged complain that the government is biased against them. The business class complains that government is excessively intrusive and slow to act. The middle class complains that the government is corrupt and unresponsive.”

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Singh said that “we must endeavour to be the change that we want to see” and called for professionalism and a renewed commitment to knowledge.

He also stressed the need for better public services delivery and added that civil service must pay greater attention to improving its human face.

“In sectors like education, health and employment generation, the challenge is one of effective and equitable delivery of public services. At the same time, we need a new paradigm of public-private partnership that will enable the government to work with others in society efficiently and with speed.”

Delving on the government’s flagship social sector programmes, Singh pointed that the early feedback to these schemes such as Bharat Nirman, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, National Rural Health Mission and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan were generally positive though not uniform across states.

“There are certain programmes especially in areas like food distribution, nutrition and basic health services where we need to and we must do much more. We have increased outlays, so the financial constraint has eased, but it is your managerial challenge to ensure that the outcomes are also now better than ever before. ”

Singh said the real challenge before civil servants was for effective public management of resources and to create open, transparent and accountable systems of delivery.

“The challenge now is one of increasing professionalism that our civil services are seen to be among the best in the world when it comes to delivering public services to one-sixth of humanity.”

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