NEW DELHI: The two-day meeting of the SAARC cabinet secretaries concluded here today, with the representatives agreeing to share experience from their successful projects in the field of administrative reform. The cabinet secretaries who held such a meeting for the first time also agreed to create an index of rural development models under SAARC mechanism and facilitate e-governance where it is possible, stated a press release issued by the Government of India, which hosted the meeting.
The meeting, which was attended by all the cabinet secretaries of the region, deliberated on the issues of common concerns such as administrative reforms, rural development, performance management and e-governance. “It was noted that SAARC is transforming from a declaratory body to implementation body,” the release stated. The cabinet secretaries of the member nations also emphasised on the need to strengthen administrative and delivery mechanism within the region.
In view of emulating successful projects within the member states, the representatives also dwelt upon the areas where significant innovations have been tried in various member states, according to the press release. Member states also discussed rural development programmes in their own countries and their impact. Member states also deliberated on the use of e-governance for improving service delivery for its citizens and agreed that there is scope for collaboration.

Agreements

• Best practices to be put on the SAARC website.
• Regional collaboration among the SAARC institutions to be institutionalised.
• SAARC Member States in collaboration with the SAARC secretariat to identify one or more regional projects in areas of rural development for implementation out of the funds available under the SAARC development fund.
• Exchange of information and knowledge on Rural Development Models to be promoted.
• SAARC member states to collaborate in the area of performance management and evaluation by sharing expertise.
• Member States to identify projects where e-governance could be used for improving public service delivery and share knowledge and expertise.