Minimum government, Maximum governance: Narendra Modi scraps four cabinet committees

A day after President Pranab Mukherjee shared with nation that the newly elected government will function on the mantra of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took another resolute step in making that a reality.

In another strong-minded decision on Tuesday, Modi scrapped four Cabinet committees to get rid of committees that slowed down decision making. The committees which were scrapped are: Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification (UIDAI), Cabinet Committee on Prices, Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities, and Cabinet Committee on World Trade Organisation (WTO) Matters.

Narenda Modi had earlier dissolved all Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGoMs) set up under the UPA regime of 10 years. There were nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs under the UPA government that deliberated on many key issues.

It is well known that these cabinet committees were formed under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh, in order to fasten the decision making process. The idea backfired as the groups and committees only slowed down the decision making but also shifted the accountability. The cabinet committees under the UPA regime failed to deliver as it could not take crucial decisions and failed in many crucial policy decisions. Singh’s formation of these Cabinet committees or GoMs or EGoMs was useful only to buy time.

The cabinet secretaries who were scrapped on Tuesday will work under several different heads from now on, said the official statement released by the PMO. Matters relating to Cabinet Committee on UIDAI-related issues will be brought under the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Decisions regarding the functions of the Cabinet Committee on Prices will also be taken care by the CCEA. The decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities will now be managed by the Committee under the Cabinet Secretary whenever natural calamities occur. The functions of the Cabinet Committee on WTO will also be handled by the CCEA and, if necessary, by the full Cabinet.

Next on Narendra Modi’s list is re-constitution of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Security.