Departments told to identify UPA policy blunders

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    NEW DELHI: While you would expect secretaries in various departments to be readying a five-year roadmap for the new government, this time key ministries are busy identifying decisions "that shouldn't have been taken" by the outgoing UPA regime in what many see as the first step towards reversing them.

    Top government officials told TOI that the Cabinet secretariat has asked some government departments to prepare presentations for the new PM identifying not just the steps taken in recent years, but measures that should not have been initiated, the gaps that need to be filled to make schemes and programmes more effective, as well as a plan for the new government's term.

    Even as departments were readying presentations for new ministers, the Cabinet secretariat missive took them off guard and prompted most of them to rework their roadmap, which they may get to present before PM-designate Narendra Modi. The revised plan is said to have been circulated by the cabinet secretariat over the weekend.

    "There will be 10-12 slides from each of the identified ministries and the focus will be on new areas where work will be undertaken and macro strategy," said a secretary, confirming the communication.

    But it was the bit on how the previous government could have avoided some of the steps that it took which has drawn maximum attention. UPA has been blamed for getting several of its policies and key strategy wrong. For instance, the outgoing government is accused of not having been investor-friendly, seen through a series of tax notices issued to multinational companies and the retrospective amendments to tax laws. These measures are blamed for the poor investor sentiment.

    Similarly, the withdrawal of tax benefits to special economic zones is also said to have hit investor mood as the government promised the sops only to roll them back.

    Most ministries are also likely to highlight the slow pace of approvals given by the environment ministry, which forced several companies to put their projects on hold.

    In addition, infrastructure ministries are complaining that the land acquisition law will significantly increase the cost of land besides making purchases tougher. The NHAI has estimated that the cost will rise by three-four times.

    Sources said the inputs could come handy in identifying key bottlenecks to growth and devising a strategy to overcome some of the hurdles, including amendments to the law.

    Departments told to identify UPA policy blunders - The Times of India
     
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