New ministers find place in key Cabinet committees

Newly inducted Union ministers Bhupender Yadav, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Mansukh Mandaviya have been included in the Cabinet committee on political affairs. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane and Ashwini Vaishnaw have been included in the committee to oversee investment and growth
President Ram Nath Kovind, First Lady Savita Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a group photograph with the newly sworn-in Council of Ministers, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 7. (File photo)
President Ram Nath Kovind, First Lady Savita Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a group photograph with the newly sworn-in Council of Ministers, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 7. (File photo)
Updated on Jul 14, 2021 05:03 AM IST
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New ministers inducted into the Union Cabinet were on Monday named to Cabinet committees mandated to deal with matters such as Centre-state issues, investment and growth.

Three of the new ministers, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane, and Ashwini Vaishnaw, were included in the committee that oversees investment and growth. The committee is tasked with identifying key projects required to be implemented on a time-bound basis. It also oversees investments of 1,000 crore or more, or any other critical projects, as may be specified, in sectors such as infrastructure and manufacturing. The committee also prescribes time limits for requisite approvals and clearances by the concerned ministries or departments.

Three other new ministers, Bhupender Yadav, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Mansukh Mandaviya, apart from Cabinet ministers Smriti Irani and Giriraj Singh, were included in the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. Former ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsh Vardhan, and the late Ram Vilas Paswan were in the panel that has a role in addressing Centre-state issues. The panel also examines economic and political issues with no internal or external security implications.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted 36 new faces into the council and promoted seven junior ministers to independent or Cabinet roles. He dropped 12 ministers, including the ministers of health, education, information technology, law, environment and, information and broadcasting in the biggest reshuffle in the council since 2014, when he first took over as the Prime Minister.

Vaishnaw and Yadav have also been included in the committee on employment and skill development. Four other ministers Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Singh Thakur, Virendra Kumar (all three named Cabinet ministers last week) and Arjun Munda (already a Cabinet minister) have been included in the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs with the mandate to draw the schedule of Parliament sessions. The panel also scrutinises non-government businesses and takes decisions on the bills and resolutions to be presented.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet includes Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah. It has a role in appointments such as that of the three service chiefs, director-general of military operations, chiefs of all air and army commands among others. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) comprises Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, road, transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, commerce minister Piyush Goyal, education minister Dharmendra Pradhan and agriculture minister NS Tomar.

CCEA has been trimmed with no replacements for Prasad and DV Sadananda Gowda. It has the mandate to review economic trends, problems and prospects for consistent and integrated economic policies. It also coordinates all activities requiring policy decisions at the highest level.

Minister for urban development and housing Hardeep Singh Puri has been included in the panel on accommodation after his elevation as Cabinet minister. The committee is tasked with overseeing and drafting the rules for the allotment of government accommodation. He was a special invitee earlier in the panel in his capacity as a minister of state. Ministers of state are special invitees to the committees.

The Cabinet Committee on Security, the highest decision-making body on security affairs, continues to remain unchanged with Modi, Shah, Rajnath Singh, Sitharaman and Jaishankar on the panel. Janata Dal (United)’s RCP Singh is the only representative of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s allies to find a place in the eight committees. He has been named as a special invitee to the committee on skill development and employment.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)’s Paswan, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant were in the previous committees when they were ministers.

SAD and Sena have quit the BJP-led alliance. LJP and Apna Dal, the other allies, have no representatives in any of the committees.

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    Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

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Thursday, June 30, 2022