According to sources, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s marathon meeting with senior bureaucrats, a few officials expressed concern about populist schemes announced by several states, claiming they are economically unsustainable and could lead them down the same path as Sri Lanka.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a four-hour meeting with secretaries from all departments at his camp office at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.
Moreover, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister PK Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, and other top Union government bureaucrats were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, PM Modi told bureaucrats during the meeting that they needed to shift their mindset from managing shortages to managing surpluses.
According to the sources, he told them to abandon the old excuse of “poverty” as an excuse for not pursuing major development projects and to adopt a broader perspective.
Further, PM Modi praised the secretaries’ teamwork during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they should act as secretaries of the government of India, not just secretaries of their respective departments, and work as a single unit.
He also asked secretaries to provide feedback and point out flaws in government policies, including those that had nothing to do with their respective ministries.
According to the sources, more than two dozen secretaries expressed their opinions and provided feedback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who listened to them with an open mind.
Since 2014, this was the prime minister’s ninth meeting with secretaries.
Moreover, two secretaries stated populist initiatives proposed in recent assembly elections in a financially troubled state, as well as similar schemes in other states, are fiscally unsustainable and could lead the states down the same route as Sri Lanka, according to sources.
Apart from such gatherings, Prime Minister Modi has formed six-sectoral secretaries groups to provide new ideas for general governance reform.
Prime Minister of India offers a helping hand to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is in the midst of the worst economic crisis in its history. The public has been suffering for weeks due to long queues for fuel, cooking gas, and other needs, as well as long hours of power outages.
Sri Lanka is experiencing a lack of vital items such as fuel and cooking gas due to a foreign exchange crisis. Power outages that can last up to 13 hours per day are common.
Sri Lanka’s economy was severely harmed by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the government estimating a loss of $14 billion over the last two years.
Sri Lanka is likewise significantly in debt due to large-scale borrowing for non-profitable projects. Its international debt repayment requirements for this year are estimated to be over $7 billion.
Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath issued the Extraordinary Gazette Notification under the President’s direction.
Moreover, the move occurred after a violent demonstration erupted outside Rajapaksa’s mansion on Thursday, with hundreds of people demanding his resignation for what they called his failure to solve the island nation’s worst economic crisis.
Ajith Rohana, a senior police spokesperson, informed the media that the unrest had injured 24 police officers and numerous other citizens and that demonstrators had set fire to multiple police and army vehicles. According to Rohana, the total damage was estimated to be over $132,000, and the accused will face charges of harming public property.
Indian Oil lends a hand by supplying the Ceylon Electricity Board with 6,000 MT of fuel. In its first substantial food aid, India has already begun providing rice to the crisis-stricken country.
According to Indian officials, a consignment of 40,000 MT of diesel was handed over to Energy Minister Gamini Lokuge with the help of an Indian line of credit worth $500 million.