Union cabinet expansion before Parliament winter session

  • 5 more to be inducted

  • Workload affecting efficiency of ministers

  • Modi opting for smaller cabinet

  • Believes in small govt max governance

(Kasipathy)

New Delhi, October 8: Since many ministers are holding multiple ministries in the union cabinet and are tattering under workload, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to expand the cabinet before the commencement of winter session of parliament. A senior party leader said that most probably the process will be initiated after Diwali festival. Perhaps five new MPs will be inducted into the cabinet.

It is expected that the winter session will be either in last week of November or in first week of December. In fact, Modi planned to expand his cabinet in October itself, but put it off to November due lack of time to finalise the right candidates.

The Narendra Modi government with a 44 member Council of Ministers, consists of 22 Cabinet ministers, 10 ministers of state with independent charge and 12 ministers of state. Of course, he has freedom to form the cabinet with 81 members maximum, but had chosen to form with minimum number. Earlier many coalition governments have maximum number of ministers in cabinet.

Modi has been stressing on minimum government and maximum governance and hence formed a cabinet with only 44 members by allocating more than one ministry to a few ministers. To reduce the salary bill for ministers he had sought smaller cabinet. Though there is saving of money from smaller cabinet, the negative impact is work load on a few ministers.

Earlier a minister observed that “most ministers are holding multiple ministries and are over working and have really no time for any political work.“

Arun Jaitley holding charge of finance, defence and corporate affairs; Nitin Gadkari holding ministries of roads and highways, shipping and rural development. Nirmala Sitharaman has independent charge of commerce, while being minister of state for finance.

At least five more MPs will be inducted at various levels in the Council of Ministers, with names of probable doing the rounds.

A senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity said that several BJP MPs were being asked for inputs on policy issues, and the time has come for the prime minister to have a better idea of the talent pool along with the aptitude for hard work, determination, depth of knowledge on a few issues to handle the ministry and individual talents.

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