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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Narendra Modi cuts flab from cabinet committees

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 20, 2014
First Published: 00:42 IST(20/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:44 IST(20/6/2014)

After reducing the size of his cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pruned all cabinet committees.

The panels, which were re-constituted on Wednesday, saw some BJP leaders assuming more importance even as the party allies may find their representation proportionate to their reduced strength in the NDA tally.

The reconstitution of the cabinet committees comes close on the heels of Modi reducing the number of such panels. The PM has also junked all groups of ministers to expedite government decisions.

Taking his mantra of “minimum government, maximum governance” further, the all-important cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) will work with a larger mandate but have 11 members and three special invitees. The UPA government’s CCEA had 14 members and three permanent invitees.

The appointments committee of the cabinet (ACC), handling the immediate task of filling up key vacancies, comprises only the PM and the home minister. The UPA had a slot for three members. The committee on accommodation has been trimmed down from 7 members to a four-member body.
Similarly, the political and parliamentary affairs panels will each have a member less.

The crucial cabinet committee on security is now a group of top four ministers, including the PM, instead of the group of five. But it is due to Arun Jaitley’s dual charge of finance and defence ministries.

Road minister Nitin Gadkari and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad are part of three panels and Smriti Irani, who heads the HRD ministry, has been made a special invitee in the parliamentary affairs panel.

The reconstituted committees have just two allies — SAD and TDP — in the economic affairs panel. All partners in the government, however, are in the committee on political affairs.

Leaner panels
CCEA to have 11 members and three special invitees. The UPA’s panel had 14 members and three permanent invitees.
The appointments committee has only Modi and Rajnath; the UPA govt had three members in the panel.


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