New Delhi: Since assuming office in May last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has regularly emphasized the need for timely implementation of government programmes to boost an economy troubled by delays in the execution of projects, especially in infrastructure.

To monitor such projects himself, Modi has decided to launch a programme called PRAGATI— Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation—from 25 March. The Prime Minister will hold monthly meetings with secretaries of the Union government and chief secretaries of all state governments to review the progress of projects under implementation.

The meetings will be held through video conference on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The move will help Modi keep track of the progress, or lack of it, in hundreds of projects, especially in infrastructure, worth trillions of rupees.

According to a letter by Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, Modi is keen to design a mechanism for redressal of public grievances and ensure that programmes and projects launched by the governments are monitored properly for timely implementation and desired outcomes.

“It is also necessary to facilitate from GoI (government of India) level the projects of the States. Accordingly, with three objectives—grievance redressal, project implementation and project monitoring, an IT (information technology) based redressal and monitoring system has been designed. The programme will be known as PRAGATI..," said Misra, in a letter dated 9 March addressed to all secretaries in the government of India. PRAGATI has been designed as a three-tier system comprising the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), secretaries of the government of India and chief secretaries of states.

The main issues that would be flagged before the Prime Minister will be picked from an available database on public grievances, ongoing government programmes and pending projects.

Developers of at least 513 projects worth over 22 trillion had approached the project monitoring group (PMG), a body under the union cabinet secretariat, to iron out clearance- and investment-related issues and end delays in them taking off.

PMG has already addressed such issues in around 150 projects, unlocking investment worth around 7 trillion. These projects would also be under the Prime Minister’s radar through PRAGATI.

The Prime Minister “will also take into consideration various correspondences to his office by the common people or from high dignitaries of States and developers of public projects", the letter said.

To ensure smooth functioning of the project, Misra said it had been decided that issues to be taken up through PRAGATI will be uploaded online seven days prior to every meeting every month by the Prime Minister himself, after which government of India secretaries and state chief secretaries will be able to view them.

The secretaries and chief secretaries will then have to add their comments and updates about the flagged issues by subsequent Mondays. To ensure that the office is not caught offguard, a PMO team will review the data, comments and updates uploaded by secretaries, one day before the PRAGATI meetings.

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