Govt rejigs six Cabinet panels; Modi to head four, Rajnath two

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 20 2014, 06:13am hrs
After scrapping all 30 groups of ministers on Wednesday, the Narendra Modi government on Thursday continued the process of overhauling the decision-making apparatus by reconstituting six key Cabinet committees.

Four of these will be headed by the PM and two by home minister Rajnath Singh. The panels reconstituted were on security, economic affairs, political affairs, parliamentary affairs, accommodation and appointments. But the government was silent on the Cabinet Committee on Investment set up by the UPA government in its last leg to speed up clearances of large projects.

The scrapping of the groups of ministers and the rejigging of the Cabinet panels is line with the Modis promise of minimum government, maximum governance.

Key ministers along with their officials are holding meetings regularly and Modi himself has already held two rounds of talks with secretaries of various ministries.

While Modi will head the committees on political affairs, security, economic affairs and appointments, Singh will head the committees on accommodation and parliamentary affairs.

Indications are the government could scrap four other Cabinet committees, on investment, prices, UIDAI and management of natural calamities, but there was no official word on it.

Modi had promised a smaller government to make decision-making quick and efficient. In his first meeting with secretaries on June 4, Modi had had asked the heads of departments to simplify and streamline administrative rules and procedures to make them people-friendly in an ambitious attempt to energise a slow-moving bureaucracy.

In the case of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the other members are home minister Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, urban development, housing, poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, transport minister Nitin Gadkari, apart from the ministers of railways, communication, civil aviation and agriculture. Ministers of state with independent charge Dharmendra Pradhan (oil and gas), Nirmala Sitharaman (commerce) and Piyush Goyal (power, coal, renewable energy) will be special invitees to the CCEA.