Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed his council of ministers on Wednesday to make only those claims which can be established and also not to appoint their near and dear ones in advisory roles in ministries. Chairing a meeting of the Union council of ministers, Modi referred to unnecessary remarks being made in media and in public and categorically told them to state only facts or make claims which can be established, sources said. He also asked ministers not to appoint their near and dear ones in advisory roles in their ministries or departments. For improving the "gati" and "disha" (speed and focus) of governance, Modi said there should be better coordination between Cabinet ministers and ministers of state.
He also told the ministers that their interaction should not be limited to top-level officials such as secretaries in their ministries. Rather they should also interact with those who are relatively lower in hierarchy as well such as joint secretaries, directors and deputy secretaries, so that these officials should also feel that they are also part of the team. Ministers should encourage and energise officials, he emphasised. Reiterating that ministers should reach office by 9:30 am, Modi said some of them are still to heed to his instruction and they should start doing that. He is of the view that if top ministers follow this routine, this will have a positive impact on the productivity and efficiency of their respective ministries and overall functioning of the government.
Pitching for development initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked Union ministers to work on schemes and projects for the region, and also called for engaging with officials and students from the state who are currently based in different parts of the country. At the Union Council of Ministers meeting chaired by Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah gave a presentation on the situation in Kashmir and also dwelt at length on the move to nullify Article 370, which had given Jammu and Kashmir special status, sources said. Shah said the situation is gradually improving in the Valley, which is facing security and communication restrictions at many places, they said. Defending the restrictions, the Minister said it is in larger good and asserted that there is no blanket ban on communication or people's movement.