New Delhi: The newly constituted Narendra Modi Cabinet will hold its first meeting today at 5 PM. Sources said while there is no fixed agenda, the possible date for convening the Parliament session could be decided at the meeting.
The new Cabinet has 58 ministers including the PM. Since portfolios haven’t yet been allocated and only the oath of office was administered at Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony, that’s another task ahead of the PM. In the coming days, he would also need to decide on the various cabinet committees, such as the Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.
Meanwhile, the new Cabinet, a trimmer one than that of PM Modi’s 2014 one, has seen several ministers dropped even as some new faces have joined. Apart from former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who voluntarily stepped back citing poor health, others who haven’t been repeated in NDA 2.0 include Sushma Swaraj, Suresh Prabhu, Maneka Gandhi, J P Nadda, Radha Mohan Singh, Chaudhary Birender Singh, Manoj Sinha, K J Alphons, Mahesh Sharma, Jual Oram and Uma Bharti.
There’s some consolation for Nadda and Maneka Gandhi though. Nadda, who was the health and family welfare minister in the previous government, is expected to take on the mantle of the BJP president since Amit Shah has joined the Cabinet and the saffron party strictly adheres to its one man, one post rule. Also, Maneka might get to be the temporary Speaker in Lok Sabha.
Other major leaders who were Ministers of State in the previous government but haven’t been repeated are Ram Kripal Yadav (Rural Development), Hansraj Gangram Ahir (Home Affairs), Radhakrishna P (Shipping and Finance), Jayant Sinha (Civil Aviation), Anant Kumar Hegde (Skill Development and Entrepreneurship), S S Ahluwalia (Electronics and Information Technology) and Vijay Goel (Parliamentary Affairs).
Meanwhile, Zee Business TV reported that the Union Budget 2019 is set to be presented in a little over a month after the new government has taken charge, in July. According to sources, the budget will be presented in the first week of July itself.
The first task in hand for the new finance minister would be to ensure that the economy stays on the right track. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry said, “The upcoming Union Budget 2019-20 is an opportunity for the government to boost consumption and investments through appropriate fiscal stimulus and policies.”