New Delhi: BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu conducted a surprise check of his Urban Development ministry this morning to discover many empty chairs. Their sole occupants were the printed towels that scream government office turf.
About 80 missing employees will be asked to explain why they were either late or missing, said sources. But Mr Naidu, 65, has also ordered that a biometric attendance system be installed urgently for the Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs ministries which report to him. For the next week, senior bureaucrats have been asked to visit both establishments every day to keep tabs on who's missing; attendance registers will be removed 15 minutes after "the due time of reporting" and late-comers will be marked absent and penalized that day's salary.
A few weeks ago, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar asked nearly 40 people in his department to apply for casual leave because they were not at work on time on a Monday morning. (A Union Minister's Monday Morning Check Finds and Penalizes Slackers)
Since he took office in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has vowed "maximum governance and minimum government," has asked his administration to prioritize efficiency by reducing delays and cutting red tape. Bureaucrats have been ordered to focus on the swift disposal of files; civil servants have been warned they will be held responsible and penalized for delays in decision-making.
The PM has also asked for government offices to be cleaned up with new paint jobs and the removal of discarded furniture and floor-to-ceiling stacks of files often found in corridors.