Give vague assurances to MPs: Union Agriculture Ministry to Babus

'The matter is under consideration', 'I shall look into it', 'I shall see what can be done' are some statements that the Members of Parliament seeking information on matters will get to hear from the bureaucratic class.

Updated: Mar 10, 2016, 18:57 PM IST
Give vague assurances to MPs: Union Agriculture Ministry to Babus
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New Delhi: 'The matter is under consideration', 'I shall look into it', 'I shall see what can be done' are some statements that the Members of Parliament seeking information on matters will get to hear from the bureaucratic class.

The Union Agriculture Ministry has issued instructions to its officials to provide ambiguous assurances to the MPs.

In a letter, the ministry has mentioned 32 phrases that bureaucrats can provide to the MPs.

Some of the phrases mentioned in the letter are: 'The matter is under consideration', 'I shall look into it', 'I shall see what can be done', 'Enquires are being held', 'I have to look into the matter before I can say anything', 'I'm reviewing the position', 'I have no information, but I'm prepared to look into the matter'.

As per a report in New Indian Express, the reason behind these instructions is that specific assurances have to be fulfilled within three months and not more.

At present, it could require more than three months to collect information and supply them to the lawmakers concerned. So, the ministry ends up seeking extension of time to fulfil the assurances. The vague assurances buy bureaucrats enough time.

“Wherever essential, efforts should be made to fulfil these assurances at the earliest possible.” But does that really happen? Not really, suggests data released by the Committee on Government Assurances in RS. In its December 2014 report, the committee said 1,999 assurances were pending. The panel was critical of the babus, saying there is “Serious lack of knowledge on part of the ministry officials” New Indian Express quoted excerpts from the letter.