Speaking at the Think India meet of Network 18, Modi kicked off his speech with a clarification about what he meant when he said ‘minimum Govt, maximum governance'. Modi said he advocated a 'right size of Govt'.
Here are some highlights –
"None of our government services are rationalized. They are engaged or disengaged based on various pressures until their use is completely lost. So many pressures affect our services that the common man has lost all faith in Govt services."
"No religious person ever doubts whether the sun will rise every morning, since they believe that is controlled by God. They do not sense any discrimination, since sunlight enters slums as freely as it does mansions. There are no protests that the sun rises earlier in the East than the West, since every one understands that every one gets about 12 hours sunlight equally."
"Govt services lack this kind of certainty, this sense of equality and this sense of fairness. This is why people lack faith in it. But we must try to make Govt services that fair and assured."
"In our country, our Government is packed with clerks and unnecessary officers, even when projects require less clerks and more technical people. This unending bureaucracy weighs down all projects."
"Believing in ‘right size’ of Govt, in Gujarat we gave incentives to wards to lower the numbers of their bureaucracy and increase their efficiencies. We told them to meet certain human resource targets and only then will they get certain grants. Things began to change almost immediately."
"We are increasing the size of the Govt, but not the accountability. There are no advantages to the common man at all. This happens in commissions especially, which are made only to pander certain sections, but do not function as expected."
"There is a mentality that those in Government are the givers, while the common man is a receiver of alms. This is a great crime, I believe. In a democracy how can the elected imagine that he is a giver? This attitude merely increases a bad attitude within the people."
"We clean our ancient scooters, however broken-down they are. We polish them until they shine. However, when we travel by the bus, we damage the seating and the cushions simply because we are bored. We never feel the pride of ownership for public things. Be it public schools or public hospitals, the public is apathetic about public utilities
Not only public-private partnerships, India needs public-private -people partnerships. We must involve the people in our decisions. This will increase a sense of ownership. If possible we should try to convince them, take their consent for projects. This makes them a partner to the process, thereby reducing costs and time taken to implement projects. This also increases pride in public projects. We need to focus on such things. - Modi@ Think India
What is needed to bring change in India? An old Congress minister once said it best - Ministers need to say no, civil officers need to say yes. , commenting on ministers habits of promising many things, but civil officers inability to deliver most things.
The more we use technology in our deliver systems, the better, faster can we improve governance
The lack of transparency increases mistrust and unhappiness in the public. This is what causes huge gaps between the people and their government. We must fill in these gaps."
"Centralization of power is derailing the entire system" Modi explaining the point of decentralization through an example of how he his fighting with the Centre just to install gas pipelines in Gujarat. (A big dig at Centre-State relations there.)
"We must remove Government from unnecessary areas. In Gujarat for example, we removed the need for government inspectors to go certify boilers in factories. We began accepting private company certificates on the safety of boilers. This removed Government from the scene and increased efficiency", Modi said, stressing his original point that governments must be small and focused on core areas, instead of being large and impractical.
"Government means rules and Governance means delivery. Government implies authority while governance implies accountability. Government is power while governance is empowerment. Where there is files...that is Government. Where there is life that is governance. We must fill the files with life. Governments can be tangled in files, governance must make life better"
"Governance is about outcome...All the governments only discuss outley and not the outcome from it," he said, adding that soci-economic impact needed to be measured to ensure funds were being used effectively.
"It isn't enough to put up facilities, it is equally important to improve the people's quality of life," Modi said.
He spoke about Sabarmati river front project and says it gave them carbon credits, improved the water table and reduced diseases in Ahmedabad.
"If we measure socio-economic benefits then it will improve our impact," he said.