Modi's restructuring sees 17 ministries clubbed under 7 ministers

In a restructuring of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today combined 17 related ministries into seven different groups, including some infrastructure departments, in an apparent bid to ensure synergy and better results.

FP Staff May 27, 2014 13:57:35 IST
Modi's restructuring sees 17 ministries clubbed under 7 ministers

In a restructuring of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today combined 17 related ministries into seven different groups, including some infrastructure departments, in an apparent bid to ensure synergy and better results. This is keeping with Modi's oft quoted mantra, "minimum government, maximum governance."

The changes are: the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, created in UPA-II, has been brought together with External Affairs Ministry under Sushma Swaraj while Corporate Affairs has been brought back to Finance under Arun Jaitley. In infrastructure sector, the Prime Minister has combined Road Transport and Highways and Shipping in the ministry to be headed by Nitin Gadkari, who had made a name for himself by adopting an innovative approach in expanding road transport network and bridges in Maharashtra when he was a minister there in BJP-Shiv Sena Government.

Another important infrastructure combination is bringing together Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy under the independent charge of Minister of State Piyush Goyal. These used to be separate ministries with Cabinet ministers incharge in the UPA governments. Related ministries of Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation have been placed under the charge of M Venkaiah Naidu, while Rural Development, Panchayat Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation have been grouped together under the charge of Gopinath Munde.

Modis restructuring sees 17 ministries clubbed under 7 ministers

Modi has gone for massive restructuring of ministries. AP

In another minor combination of ministries, Goa's Shripad Naik has been charge of Culture and Tourism as Minister of State with independent charge.
However, this is not the first time that ministries have been brought together for the purpose of efficiency and homogeneity.

While the move is being hailed by most as one that will help in efficiency in running the government, experts are also warning that it could lead to over-centralisation.

A report in the Hindustan Times quotes Shekhar Singh, as saying, "...In the medium and long-term, it removes the balance that comes from internal friction, which is necessary for a complex and diverse economy and society.”

Another expert Partha Mukhopadhyay, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research pointed out that while "certain ministries are related to transport — be it roads or shipping or railways or civil aviation — but they all have different regulatory and policy challenges," and that instead of just clubbing together ministries a "more well-coordinated government" is required. Read more on that here.

With inputs from PTI

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