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Govt plans central secretariats in states


NEW DELHI, October 23: The government is planning central secretariats in each state capital in a bid to take governance closer to the people ahead of parliamentary elections in 2019, said people with knowledge of the matter. These will be developed as high-security offices on the lines of Delhi’s CGO Complex and general pool office accommodation.
They will have space for the central ministries to interact with the public and house those that have been waiting for office accommodation in states. The move follows a detailed discussion in the Cabinet at which the requirement for centralised offices for all government programmes and functions was underlined.
According to sources, Cabinet ministers had flagged the need for identifiable central government offices for ease of doing business or even better interaction with state government departments over central schemes.
The secretariats will also house facilities for meetings between state and central government officials who may be visiting to review the progress of schemes or for inspections.
At the cabinet meeting, the move found support as ministers pointed out that it would also mean saving on commutes by officials.
Central government offices are currently scattered across cities and many have not even found the right space.
The government is moving with speed on the proposal. After the discussion in Cabinet, a formal proposal was sent by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), which has been entrusted with identifying land that can be used. CPWD has also written to other central ministries to identify any plots in their possession for the purpose.
“The city-wise details of plots are being collated,” a senior CPWD official said. “We are also looking at all the requests for office space received from various central ministries and departments. This would help us in knowing how much office space is required in which city to build a central secretariat. Once that is worked out, CPWD would begin groundwork.”
CPWD has sent out directives to additional director generals on the identification of plots and requirements.
“Necessity for common secretariat has arisen for all centralised government functions at a place, ease of business for the public at a centralised place, faster interaction between departments and ministries, reduction in interdepartmental commuting time and high level of security in unified building with state of art infrastructure facilities,”according to the project description circulated to officials that ET has seen. (TNN)