Modi confirms leaner Cabinet of merged, “organic” ministries

New Delhi: Prime minister-designate Narendra Modi has confirmed that he will be heading a leaner Cabinet with assembled ministries.

Around midnight Sunday, the eve of his swearing-in as India’s 15th prime minister, Modi tweeted, “Keeping our commitment to ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ we have made an  unprecedented & positive change in Ministry formation… Various Assembled Ministries will be transformed into Organic Ministries for quicker pace of work & better coordination between departments.”

He also tweeted a link to a statement on his official Facebook page, shedding more light on his idea of “minimum government and maximum governance,” while adopting “rationalisation with a commitment to bring a change in the work culture and style of governance.”

The statement said, “It is a good beginning in transforming entity of assembled ministries to organic ministries. It will bring more coordination between different departments, will be more effective and bring a speed in process.”

It added that the focus of this change in Cabinet formation is on “the activities of various ministries where one Cabinet minister will be heading a cluster of ministries who are working in complimentary sectors.”

It added that Modi was eventually aiming at “smart governance”, which will entail the downsizing of the top layer of the government, coupled by an expansion at the grass root level.

“Shri Narendra Modi tried in a rational manner to club like-minded departments in the ministry formation in such way to convert entity of assembled ministry to organic entity,” said the statement.

Gujarat Bhawan here had become the hub of political activity as hectic parleys had been going on between Modi, his close aides and the top brass of Bharatiya Janata Party over Cabinet formation and restructuring of ministries.

There has been considerable buzz in the media and political circles over Modi’s approach towards restructuring of ministries.

According to reports, ministries like shipping, road transport, railways and civil aviation could be clubbed together as the Ministry of Transport.

Similarly, there have been reports that Ministry of Panchayati Raj could be merged with the Ministry of Rural Development, while the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs could be merged with the Ministry of External Affairs.

The various ministries in the energy sector–like power and mining– could also be made part of one unified ministry of energy.

“Shri Narendra Modi is aware of the high expectations of the people. For whole four days, he was busy with the formation of ministry and discussing various alternatives to effective governance, convergence and coordination between various ministries.

Earlier, there was political instability and multi-party governments, the ministry formation was almost done in a bifurcated manner,” the statement added.

Modi will take the oath of office and secrecy at 1800 IST today in a grand ceremony at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The BJP won a decisive mandate in the Lok Sabha elections, bagging a clear majority with 282 seats on its own, becoming the first party to do so in 30 years.

The National Democratic Alliance tally totalled 336 seats.

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