The Prime Minister said the Administrative Reforms Commission and the Pay Commission were all part of the effort to redress systemic deficiencies.
He said the tax payers would not grudge the civil services getting better remuneration as long as they did their duty in the best interests of the people and the country.
''Hence, improved conditions of work must go hand in hand with improvement in work on the ground. Given Government's deep commitment towards the welfare of all its employees equally, I would also expect the highest standards of discipline and decorum from our Civil Servants.'' He asked the civil servants to ''introspect and recognize that there is a great deal of public dissatisfaction with the functioning of Government, at all levels of Government.
''This challenge the civil service must endeavour to address as a collective entity. The most important challenge is of instilling confidence in our people that our civil services are fair, honest as well as efficient. Sometimes perceptions may be more adverse than what reality really warrants. But perceptions matter. Hence, not only should the civil services be fair, honest and efficient, but they should be seen to be so, and endeavouring to be so.
''The poor and the under privileged complain that Government is biased against them. The business class complains that Government is excessively intrusive and slow to act. The middle class complain that government is corrupt and unresponsive.'' Each section of society had its own grievance, and the civil service had its own. The civil service was not only required to serve every section of society, but also do it in a professionally satisfying way. This was the challenge before them.
Dr Singh said the Civil Services Day took shape because it was felt that such an occasion would give the civil service an opportunity every year to reflect on the achievements, acknowledge the good work done, address the challenges at hand and re-dedicate itself to completing the tasks and challenges.
''Such an occasion is also of great value to us in the political executive. It offers an opportunity to share our perceptions on governance, our feedback from citizens on where we fail to meet their aspirations and engage with the civil service in forging a shared understanding on our collective agenda for efficient and equitable governance.''