Modi Cabinet expansion and reshuffle today: PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government is all set for its second Cabinet reshuffle and expansion exercise in just over two years. How have the various ministries of the Modi government performed? Which ministers have stood out for exceptional performance in the last two years?
Experts and economists FE Online spoke to had varied opinions, but one minister who got a unanimous vote was Power Minister Piyush Goyal. “From the days of wondering whether we will have power blackouts due to lack of coal, to becoming a power surplus nation, Piyush Goyal has done a commendable job,” feel experts.
We take a look at the best performing ministries of the Narendra Modi government, both in terms of expert opinion and citizens’ choice:
For DK Srivastava, Chief Policy Advisor at Ernst Young India, the three ministries that stand out are Power, Transport (Surface transport) and telecommunications. According to Srivastava, Piyush Goyal, Nitin Gadkari and Ravi Shankar Prasad have allowed market forces to play a greater role. “In all three cases, they (the ministers) have allowed market forces to play a more dominant role in setting prices and have hence reduced role of the government,” Srivastava told FE Online.
Sudhir Aggarwal, Head of Government for South Asia at Thomson Reuters feels that Finance, Industry & Commerce, and Power have been gamechanging ministries. “I think it is easy to criticise when it comes to Finance Ministry, but personally I feel that Arun Jaitley has taken some fundamental steps to address long-term issues in the economy. The whole concept of JAM (Jandhan-Aadhaar-Mobility) will go a long way in revamping the subsidy system in the economy. The best part is that it is a simple step, yet hadn’t been done for all these years,” Aggarwal told FE Online.
“Additionally measures taken to expand the tax base, curb generation of black money in the economy and understanding concerns of states with regards to GST, are all steps that are worth lauding,” Aggarwal said.
Aggarwal goes on to say that Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has done well to enhance ease of doing business and is working aggressively to improve India’s ease of doing business ranking. “States are now competing with each other to lure businesses, there is greater transparency in the system,” he said.
The fact that India has now become a power surplus nation is the biggest achievement of Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Aggarwal told FE Online. “We are focusing on alternate sources of energy and schemes like UDAY will go a long way in helping the sector,” he added.
Yet another ministry for which Aggarwal made a special mention was Defence. “Manohar Parrikar has brought a big change in the way we look at the defence sector. From focus on defence procurement, with Make in India as a key factor to giving a free hand to forces at the border, I think he has done a great job,” Aggarwal said.
A leading economist, who did not wish to be named, told FE Online that Railways and Power are noteworthy areas of good work by the government. “While there are many ministries that have done well, the ones that stand out as outliers are Railways and Power. Suresh Prabhu has brought in fresh ideas and is working well towards their implementation. Be it with regards to IRCTC or ease of doing business in the railway sector, the right steps are being taken by him,” he said.
“Piyush Goyal on his part has taken some very bold steps to ensure provision of electricity in the country and easing the stress of discoms. Electricity is a very important infrastructure need of any economy, and in that sense Piyush Goyal has done a tough task in a short duration of time,” he added.
How you and I rate the government’s various initiatives and ministries:
According to the Modi government’s ‘Rate My Government Survey’ that it ran on the mygov.in website, foreign policy initiatives have scored the highest with 76.09%. Modernisation of Indian Railways comes in second with 75.12% score and the third spot is bagged by roads and highway network improvement with 75.02% score.
Below are the results of the survey, as put up on the mygov.in website:
The weighted average of aggregated responses from all streams (Web, IVRS and Missed call OBD) on a Scale of 5 was taken and then converted to percentage scale.