In a major step, the Narendra Modi government has reduced the maximum time limit to solve public grievances from 60 days at present to 45 days after a recommendation to this effect by a parliamentary committee.
The government has received over 2.2 million grievances from the public in 2020 on a portal and has received 1.2 million such complaints already this year on the Centralized Public Grievances Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS). “The CPGRAMS grievances shall be resolved promptly as soon as they are received and maximum within 45 days,” says the latest order issued by the government now. Grievances under COVID 19 category continue to be treated as high priority and resolved within three days.
The decision follows the CPGRAMS system becoming more responsive with high rates of disposal and progressive reduction in average disposal time, the order says. “An analysis of grievance disposals in CPGRAMS reveals that about 87% Ministries or Departments have disposed of the grievances in less than 45 days,” the order mentions. A Parliamentary standing committee in March had also recommended that the maximum time limit for grievance redressal be brought down progressively from 60 to 45 days.
Just seven departments accounted for nearly 70 per cent of all complaints received last year, with the highest number of nearly five lakh complaints against the Department of Financial Services and nearly three lakh complaints against the Telecom department. The Department of Posts, Labour and Employment and Central Bureau of Direct Taxes and Railways are the other ministries or departments receiving maximum complaints.
“The Committee is concerned to note that 50,000-1 lakh grievances have been received against 8 departments; 1 lakh to 2 lakh grievances against 4 departments; and more than 2 lakh grievances against 2 departments between 2018-2020,” the Parliamentary standing committee had noted.
The committee had also recommended that the government develops a ‘Grievance Redressal Index’ on the lines of the Good Governance Index to rank organisations that are output and outcome-oriented and said ministries should constitute social audit panels to identify core grievance prone areas and streamline their systems accordingly. The Prime Minister has also been insisting on systemic reforms to bring down grievances.
As per the order, the new grievance disposal protocol will be: “The CPGRAMS grievances shall be resolved promptly as soon as they are received and maximum within 45 days. In case redressal is not possible within the prescribed time-frame due to the circumstances beyond the control of the Government such as sub-judice matters/ policy issues/ etc., an interim reply shall be given to the citizen.”