Prime minister Dahal warns top bureaucrats to either shape up or ship outDahal wants immediate improvements in the government’s service delivery mechanism.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has warned top bureaucrats that they either ease the delivery of government services in the country or be ready to face action for their apathy.
He also warned the officials that they either must show visible changes within a month in the most crowded government offices or be ready to face the consequences for their tardiness.
“Now, within one month of the formation of the government, if the service receivers have to wait in queues like they do now for passports, national identity cards, driving licenses, no objection certificates provided by the Ministry of Education, treatment at government hospitals, for property, surveys or tax returns, then the responsible officials will be punished,” Dahal said Tuesday, while giving the directives to government secretaries.
The prime minister on Monday and Tuesday had received briefings and feedback from the various government secretaries on different issues.
“I don't want to punish anyone. But we have limited options. I don’t want to punish anyone, but one should show the results. You cannot simply skip the responsibility because this is the duty of the provincial government or local bodies. You cannot ignore the pain and difficulties of the people out there by saying that it is the work of the government at the lower level,” said Dahal.
Dahal had placed thirty points of instruction to government secretaries after listening to their briefings and grievances. Dahal also said that he was not impressed and amused by the presentation and briefing by the top bureaucrats, otherwise why the general public are facing hassles in government offices.
Dahal also expressed concerns over revenue collection, ballooning current expenditure of the state, lesser capital expenditure and the grim situation related to the foreign aid mobilization. As per the data presented by the prime minister, as of the end of December, only 25 percent revenue has been collected as per the national target, the current expenditure has exceeded 33 percent and a meagre 11 percent of the annual capital budget has been spent so far.
As per the annual budget of this fiscal year, the government had targeted to collect Rs55 billion in foreign aid and grants but as of December-end, the government has received just Rs 3.42 billion or six percent of the total target.
“There could be some reasons behind the dismal revenue collection due to economic recession and the decrease in imports. But the income tax has not been raised as per the target. What's more, our level of service delivery shows that one faces many hassles and long queues to pay monthly taxes. The development expenditure is only 11 percent although the financial year is half over. What are the reasons for not being able to spend on development? Who is responsible? If the cause is not found and solved now, when will it be done? If there is a problem at the policy level, come up with fact-based reform proposals,” said Dahal.
He also instructed speeding up of the construction activities at large infrastructure projects and urged the officials to find out why the education and health sectors are not getting improved. Dahal also instructed the officials to find the reason behind the depletion in the quality of education and health in government hospitals and schools. He asked why the general public have to wait hours for registering their names in the government hospitals and why they need to wait for months for a general surgery. The Prime Minister also urged the secretaries to arrange for an adequate number of civil servants in the provinces and local levels. Most of the federal governments and local levels are running short of manpower.
“Fundamental services like education, health and transportation and issues like delivery of passports, driving license, national identity card, and land owner tax should be prioritized. Developmental projects are not making any progress for years. We have to end such anomalies and we should be accountable. We have to answer the people and we have to be responsible, so there is no alternative left with us,” said Dahal.
In his instruction to the bureaucrats, the prime minister also asked the secretaries to monitor the increasing numbers of road accidents and get a fix on criminal cases as 42 percent of criminal cases and complaints are gathering dust in the ministry.
Dahal also ordered them to take action against the syndicate that prevails in the transportation system and take measures to control corruption. He instructed the officials to inject technology-based services in government offices like digital service, faceless service and remove the middleman from government offices as well as ensure the citizen charter in government offices.