New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister Amit Shah has sent recommendations to the Cabinet calling for the re-organisation of the central government ministries, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources familiar with the development, the GoM, which also comprises Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has recommended the merging, creation and pruning of some ministries in keeping with the Modi government’s agenda of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”.
For example, the GoM has recommended merging the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs with Skill Development, and the Ministry of Coal with the Ministry of Mining.
In addition, the government is also considering creating a few ministries, such as a separate ministry for training of government personnel.
The Cabinet is learnt to be examining the recommendations.
Earlier this month, ThePrint had reported that the government is considering having a unified transport ministry by combining the road, railways, civil aviation and shipping ministries.
The idea behind the merging of ministries is to ensure better coordination between related sectors, ensure a sychronised approach to policy-making and eliminate operational discords, a government official said.
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‘Minimum government, maximum governance’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thrown his weight behind the idea of “minimum government, maximum governance” ever since he came to power at the centre in 2014. The first Modi term, however, saw little success in this area.
In its previous tenure, the government merged only two ministries — urban development, and housing and urban poverty alleviation — and brought them under the housing and urban affairs ministry. In addition, union minister Nitin Gadkari was made the in-charge of three key ministries — road transport and highways, shipping, and water resources — for better coordination.
In its 2019 election manifesto, the BJP said that it will “merge similar and complementary departments into sectoral ministries”.
“This will allow policymakers to frame holistic and comprehensive policies on the one hand and ensure smooth implementation on the other,” it said.
While the modalities of how the merged ministries would function have not been fleshed out yet, a senior official said the government may consider having one cabinet minister for a merged ministry along with two or three ministers of state.
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