Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken 15 members of his 32-strong cabinet on board on Wednesday to man a panel to fast-track proposals worth at least Rs. 1,000 crore each.
With general elections due in just over a year, Singh set up the inter-ministerial panel — the cabinet committee on investment (CCI) — despite initial resistance by a section of the UPA.
The CCI is empowered to review the procedures followed by ministries and departments while deciding on approvals.
Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan initially feared that the finance ministry might overshadow her ministry’s authority. Now, Natarajan and three others — power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, plan panel deputy chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia and I&B minister Manish Tewari — have been given the special invitee status in the committee.
Besides the PM, AK Antony (defence), Sharad Pawar (agriculture), P Chidambaram (finance) and Sushil Kumar Shinde (home) are part of the CCI.