Continuing his endeavour to bring down government structures and to incorporate efficiency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday disbanded four cabinet committees, including one on prices, while deciding to set up a super cabinet committee on economic affairs to take over the work of three of them.
The ministers who will constitute this super committee were not named on Tuesday. An official announcement said the PM will also re-constitute four other important cabinet committees: Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that handles all high-level defence and security matters, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) that recommends to the President all senior bureaucratic appointments and postings, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), which is a sort of small cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
The most intriguing was the announcement of imminent reconstitution of the CCS, which used to have the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister, the Home Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Finance Minister as members. It was not clear whether PM Modi wants to expand or reduce its size.
The disbanding of the Cabinet Committee on Prices too came as a surprise decision, as it comes at a time when the government has just committed to tackling inflation and bringing down prices. Its work will be now handled by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which will also handle the work of two other disbanded bodies — the Cabinet Committee on World Trade Organisation (WTO) matters and the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues.
The announcement said the WTO matters, whenever necessary, will be handled by the full Cabinet, while the second separate committee was not needed since all major decisions about the unique identity (UID) have been already taken.
Another committee that was disbanded was the Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities. Instead of the ministers involved in tackling such emergencies, the committee of secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary will be constituted whenever natural calamities occur, the announcement added.
Disbanded Cabinet Committees:
on World Trade matters
on Management of Natural Calamities
on Unique Identification Authority of India
Cabinet Committees to be re-constituted:
Appointments Committee of Cabinet
on Political Affairs
on Parliamentary Affairs