Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is part of 6 panels, to head the committee on Parliamentary Affairs
THE Government on Thursday announced constitution of eight Cabinet committees with Home Minister Amit Shah being made a part of all the panels including one that clears all appointments, while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will head the committee on Parliamentary Affairs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads various committees except the one on Parliamentary Affairs. Singh’s name did not figure in some of the committees earlier. The Government later amended the list and put up it on the Cabinet Secretariat website.
While the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has only Prime Minister Modi and Shah in it, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) has Modi, Shah and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, besides Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, besides Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arvind Ganpat Sawant are also part of the panel, that takes all key decisions.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Modi, has Singh, Shah, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Sitharaman as its members. The panel looks after issues related to national security and foreign affairs. Shah will head the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Sitharaman and Goyal are its members. Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh and Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri are special invitees of the accommodation committee.
The key Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will have Singh, Shah, Gadkari, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, Sitharaman, Tomar, Prasad and Badal among its members. The others in the CCEA include Jaishankar, Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, which recommends dates for holding Parliament sessions, will be headed by Singh and will have Shah, Sitharaman, Paswan, Tomar, Prasad, Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi as its members. Ministers of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal and V Muraleedharan are special invitees. Shah was to head the committee according to a Government order earlier, which has since been amended. The Cabinet committees are constituted or reconstituted when a new Government takes over or the cabinet undergoes a reshuffle. On Wednesday, the Government had constituted committees on investment and growth to spur the economic growth, and on employment and skill development to deal with the issues of unemployment.
Shah part of all panels
HOME Minister Amit Shah figures in all the Cabinet committees constituted by the Government, a development that highlights his importance in the second term of Modi dispensation. The induction of Shah, who is also the BJP President, in the Government has led many political observers to believe that he will be the second most powerful person in the new order. The new appointment has further cemented his position. Shah had chaired an informal meeting of several Cabinet ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, besides Sitharaman, on June 4 over crude oil related issues. Political sources noted that the Government has been careful to maintain almost the same weightage of portfolios in the six committees, which existed earlier as well, as Singh as Home Minister was a member of all of them.