With budgetary exercise underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked his ministerial colleagues to get "out of the box" ideas from the common man which could be incorporated in the financial outlay. Holding an interactive session with entire Council of Ministers over 'high tea', he denounced the practice of utilising funds at the fag end of the financial year and said budgetary allocations for the respective ministries should be spent evenly throughout the year. Noting that the annual Budget is being prepared, he asked his ministers to get "out of the box" ideas from the common man through electronic means including web portals of various ministries so that they can be incorporated in the outlays. He emphasised the need for increasing interface with the people to get their feedback and said more and more ideas should be taken from the people.
In this context, he recalled that the "Swacch Bharat" tagline was also a result of such interactions with the common man. Modi pressed the need for effective monitoring of the money spent and said ministries should work in such a fashion that their budgetary allocations are spread evenly throughout the year to ensure that ministries get the desired budgetary allocation in the next financial year. At least central government departments should not spend their allocations at the fag end of the financial year, he said. His officials made a presentation on e-books being prepared by various ministries and said transparency in governance should be achieved through e-means. He also made a "passionate appeal" to the Ministers to put the seven northeastern states as well as Sikkim on their map and asked them to spend "reasonable" duration of time in these states, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters after the meeting. The Prime Minister's officials made a presentation on e-books and web portals on which various ministries have already started work. This is the first meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by Modi this year. He had been holding such meetings regularly with his ministerial colleagues after he assumed office in May last year.