Used technology to bring transparency: Anil Swarup

Coal secretary calls for harnessing technology to improve efficiency

GN Bureau | May 18, 2016


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(Photo: Arun Kumar)

Coal secretary Anil Swarup said through technology “we were able to clear projects worth Rs 6 lakh crore” as he laid stress on improving efficiency in PSUs.


He said while public sector has amazing potential, it is the questions of allowing them to do what they have to and added the primary problem is the environment within which they have to perform.

Speaking at the Governance Now India PSU IT Forum on Wednesday, Swarup said, “If we understand the limitations within which they have to work, perform and compete. Once we understand those limitations and are able to solve those issues, we can achieve anything under the sun.”

“Going back to coal block auctions, we made the whole process transparent. My idea was to make everything transparent with the use of technology. We did commit a lot of mistakes. The beauty of technology was that it was identified there itself.” 

Swarup was earlier heading Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, the only paperless health insurance scheme in the world, which benefits the poorest of poor. He said the scheme was recognised across the world over by international agencies like World Bank, ILO and UNDP. Then he was asked to move to the cabinet secretariat to head the project monitoring group, which was file-less. 

“From serving the poorest of the poor, I was asked to serve the richest of the rich. I was fast tracking projects of over Rs 1,000 crore [with the help of technology],” he said. 

He added, “That was also the time when scams were happening. And in that scenario I was asked to fast track the project. Nonetheless in that environment, it was difficult to do things. So we created a paperless and file less office where the industry could go to the portal in case they had a problem. Through this process we were able to clear projects worth Rs 6 lakh crore. It happened because no matter how inefficient you are, you would like to appear efficient in the public, once you use technology and expose everyone on to the portal. So many people are sitting on files for so many months. I don’t mind sharing with you a cabinet minister who lost the job who was sitting on file worth Rs 15,000 crore. So that’s the power of the technology.” 
 
 

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