Modi holds off on cabinet rejig ahead of Budget session

  • Moushumi Das Gupta and Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2016 15:42 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah at the party's parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not plan to revamp his cabinet in the “immediate future”, sources in the government said on Thursday, scotching speculation that ministers who have been at the centre of controversies were facing the axe.

The message to the government’s top brass came during a meeting on Wednesday in which Modi took a stock of their performance. Such meetings will be held on the last Wednesday of every month, the PM is understood to have decided, signalling a stricter eye on performances.

“The ministers should continue the good work and stay motivated,” a minister present at the meeting quoted the PM as saying after PMO figures showed 459 of the 548 cabinet decisions taken had been implemented since the government came to power .

For the monthly review meetings, the ministries have been clubbed into three categories — agriculture & related sectors, infrastructure & related sectors, and social and core sectors. The maiden one on Wednesday had five ministries presenting their work — agriculture, rural development, water resources & Ganga rejuvenation, food and public distribution, and chemicals and fertilizers.

Of these, Uma Bharati-led water resources ministry came in for appreciation for implementing projects under Namami Ganga mission in a short period while the PM expressed dissatisfaction with the tardy implementation of projects by Ananth Kumar-led chemicals and fertilizers ministry, said sources. “The PM was of the view that a cabinet decision is taken as implemented only after things start moving on the ground. The ministries, whose decisions have been approved, need to ensure that,” another minister said.

The PM also stressed on the need for properly popularising government initiatives. “Cabinet ministers should not work in silos and rather rope in their juniors in spreading the message about their ministries’ achievements ,” a third minister quoted the PM as saying.

On the cabinet reshuffle being deferred, an official said the government is focussed on getting crucial bills passed in the Budget session.

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