NEW DELHI: The slack pace of implementation of the 34 game-changer schemes promised in this year’s Budget appears to have unnerved the government, which has now decided to tighten the screws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a full review of these projects.
Sources said there were at least nine schemes where action had not yet been initiated. The ministries concerned have been asked to prepare a detailed power point presentation on the status of the proposals, which will be examined by the PMO and the Cabinet Secretariat soon.
Top sources in the PMO said the purpose behind the exercise was to arrest the policy paralysis that seems to have crept in certain Central departments. Around 20 proposals floated by the government last year will also come up for scrutiny.
Documents accessed by the New Indian Express revealed that at least 19 schemes promised by Modi since the BJP came to power in 2014 are still in the pipelines.
On top of the review list is the proposal for jobs and skill training of youth, which has been a matter of concern for the government for some time. The Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) programme was proposed at a cost of Rs 2,200 crore, with focus on improving the quality and market relevance of vocational training.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been directed to submit a detailed response on its progress. The Cabinet had last month approved STRIVE along with SANKALP, which aims to provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth.The second proposal to be reviewed is on creation of five special tourism zones by the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the respective states to generate more employment.
The Ministry of Railways has been asked to update the PMO on the plan to list on the stock exchanges the shares of railway PSEs like the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) and IRCON so as to unlock the true value of these companies.
Also up for review will be a Ministry of Social Justice scheme for the uplift of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, where little headway has reportedly been made though the government had provided Rs 52,393 crore in the Budget, an increase of `13,000 crore from earlier allocation.
The ministry was also expected to launch a pilot project for issuing Aadhaar-based Smart Cards to senior citizens containing their health details. The status of the project, to be launch in 15 districts by the year-end, will come up for discussion, too.
The PMO and Cabinet Secretariat will discuss the new law to confiscate the property of economic offenders who flee India. The government is keen to ensure the passage of the draft Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017, which was recently cleared by the Ministry of Law, in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
At least five projects of the Railways will also be reviewed. These include safety works on unmanned railway crossings, 70 projects being developed in partnership with 9 states, redevelopment of 25 stations by the year-end and feeding about 7,000 stations with solar power.