Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has asked Secretaries of all central departments to intensify the crackdown on government employees who are found to be “habitually late” in reaching office. Seth, in his July 31 missive, has specifically cited concerns expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard. Stating that the onus lies on the Secretaries to make the staff more work-oriented, the letter says that Modi has taken cognizance of some official reports which say that there has been no visible improvement in the ambience of the workplaces while “some officials have been habitually coming late” to work.“In some departments, the ministers have noticed the laxity in this regard. The PM has expressed concern over these reports,” says the letter. The government is waiting for the success of its drive to make its employees punctual, which can happen on “continued perseverance by every employee,” it says. Cautioning the Secretaries against any “slippages” in this regard, Seth has asked them to review the situation on a sustained basis. At a meeting with the Secretaries in June also, Seth had emphasised the need to ensure punctuality and attendance. Two Secretary level officers told The Indian Express that a Joint Secretary level officer has been informally deputed in each ministry to keep a check on attendance. Though the letter does not spell out the punitive action in case of continued poor attendance, it is learnt that the defaulters may have to take compulsory leave.