PM unhappy over delay in seeking Cabinet approval for MoUs
New Delhi: Expressing “displeasure” over delay by ministries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that they should submit within one month details of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed with foreign countries and different entities for Cabinet approval.
This was stated by Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha in a recent directive to secretaries of all central government ministries. In June this year, all the secretaries had been directed to seek prior approval before signing of such MoUs.
“It is still being noticed that Cabinet notes on MoUs are being brought before the Cabinet for its post facto approval or information after considerable delay from the date of signing of such MoUs.
“Prime Minister has expressed displeasure in this regard and directed that all MoUs that are signed by departments and are required to be brought before the Cabinet for post facto approval or information, under the extreme provisions, must be submitted within one month of the signing of the MoU,” Sinha said.
In case of any delay, the note should detail the specific reason and justification in submitting the note before the Cabinet after the prescribed time limit, he said.
Sinha had in June this year also written to all the secretaries in this regard.
He had said that the Prime Minister had expressed concern that some ministries or departments were seeking approval for signing MoUs with foreign countries or organisations at the eleventh hour under a rule that is invoked for situations of extreme urgency or unforeseen contingency.
“In most cases, the schedule of visits on which the MoUs are to be signed are known beforehand and it should be possible to take timely action and prepare a note for consideration of the Cabinet.
“Therefore, I would urge you to ensure that the Cabinet notes seeking approval for signing of MoUs are prepared sufficiently in advance of the proposed visits,” Sinha had said.
The Cabinet Secretariat had already asked all ministries to provide the rationale of opting of the MoU route while seeking Cabinet’s approval. They have been told to enclose a “list and status” of existing MoUs while seeking approval of the new ones.
“It has been decided that prior approval of the Cabinet is required to be obtained in all cases involving treaties, agreements and other important matters including MoUs to be signed with any foreign agency or country ,” it had said.