Not satisfied with the performance of the state bureaucracy, the Yogi government is mulling over drastic administrative reforms in Uttar Pradesh by allowing merger of 94 government departments into 37 to bring in efficiency, coordination and effective implementation of government schemes in the state.A proposal, drafted by the Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) Sanjiv Sharan, is ready and will be submitted to the government shortly for perusal and Cabinet approval. “The merger will gear up the administrative machinery and make it more accountable for effective delivery,” Sharan told media persons.During their visit to the state last month, officials of the Niti Ayog had also suggested to downsize the state machinery by merging different government departments under one for their effective functioning and greater convergence. Currently, Uttar Pradesh has as many as 94 government departments, highest than any other states in the country. The draft proposes to merge these 94 departments into one to bring down their numbers to 37.It proposes to merge important government departments like health, agriculture, cooperative, administration, cane development, Public Works department, estate and transport to streamline their functioning and better coordination.“At present, there are three to four departments for one sector which hampers the administrative functioning due to lack of coordination between them. If they are brought under one department, it will certainly help the state government to implement its various schemes more effectively,” pointed a senior officer involved in the drafting the proposals. A few senior bureaucrats are, however, against the government’s move fearing that many it may seriously affect the work allocation to the ministers and IAS officers. They suggest that the government should not drastically bring down their numbers but allow merger of only those department which have less or no work. The health department which is divided into four different departments viz family welfare, medical education, medical and health and Child Welfare is being proposed to be merged under one ministry. At present, these departments are headed by three Cabinet ministers.Dr Siddharth Nath Singh is Cabinet minister for Medical and Health, Ashutosh Tandon is Cabinet minister for Medical Education while Cabinet minister Dr Rita Bahuguna Joshi heads Child and Family Welfare.Similarly, the energy department is divided into two different departments – Energy and Renewable Energy being headed by Srikant Sharma and Brijesh Patahk respectively. The draft proposes to merge both and bring them under one Energy ministry.The draft also proposes to merge PWD, Rural Engineering, Transport and Estate under one Road and Transport department. Likewise, Secretariat Administration, General Administration, Administrative Reforms and National Integration are proposed to be merged under one department to be called General Administration.The Agriculture, Cooperative and Cane development are to be clubbed under Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. Once the proposals are approved, the Yogi Adityanath government is planning to effect a Cabinet and administrative reshuffle accordingly.
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