Expanding, not changing, Cabinet to reflect Budget focus: PM Modi on reshuffle

‘In 2014, a section of media hoped we would not win... my regret is I haven’t been able to convince that section’

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: July 5, 2016 11:29 am
PM Modi, Modi cabinet rejig, Modi Cabinet, Modi Cabinet reshuffle, Modi Cabinet expansion, Modi Cabinet new ministers, Modi Cabinet rejig, Union Ministers, Modi Cabinet ministers list, Narendra Modi, New Union ministers, Modi ministers, union cabinet, cabinet expansion, Modi cabinet expansion, cabinet reshuffle, cabinet news, modi cabinet, modi govt cabinet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Parliament House, New Delhi. (Source: File Photo)

On the eve of the cabinet reshuffle, the second of his 25-month-old government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said the exercise would reinforce his government’s focus as outlined in the Budget this year — the Budget had focused on the agriculture sector and development of women and weaker sections.

In an interaction with a group of journalists, the Prime Minister underlined that he was only “expanding” his cabinet and not “changing” it. He said the expansion was a natural event after two years.

“It will be according to requirement,” Modi said. Asked if the approaching assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh would be kept in mind during the cabinet expansion, he said the state had elected 72 BJP MPs even before the party’s government was formed at the Centre.

WATCH: PM Modi Meets Journalists On The Eve Of Cabinet Reshuffle: All You Need To Know

 

 

In a separate conversation with The Indian Express, the Prime Minister said that after two years in office, his greatest “regret” was his failure to “convince or persuade” a section of the media “which strongly hoped that we would not win (in 2014)” to “our point of view”.

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Stating that the biggest gain for his government in the last 25 months has been the people’s “belief” and hope “in the government, he said: “A strong foundation has been laid for a take-off. This transformation from gloom to confidence in the future and from economic decline to sustained growth has the potential to transform India.”

Asked about his regret, Modi said: “As regards regrets, I am not sure if my answer will be to your liking. Before and during the parliamentary elections, there was a section of the media which strongly hoped that we would not win. My regret is that in the last two years, I have not been able to convince or persuade that section regarding our point of view. My challenge is to win over these sceptics and persuade them about our sincerity and good intentions.”

The Prime Minister, who had declared Minimum Government Maximum Governance as the motto of his government, said he has already been able to implement that – from reducing time for preparation of a cabinet note from three months to 15 days or one month, bringing in ease of doing business and by changing the style of working in silos.

“In Hindu mythology, one would get Moksh if one took a journey to Chardham. But in India a file never used to get Moksh even if it took 20 dhams. This is changing,” Modi said.

Referring to the terror attack in Dhaka, the Prime Minister, who has called for unity of all nations against terrorism in almost all international fora he has addressed, expressed concern over the delay in the United Nations for defining terrorism.

“UN has not been able to define terrorism. There is definition for war, weapons etc… We have to pressurise for bringing clarity in this,” he said. While addressing the Indian diaspora in Belgium in March, Modi said it was unfortunate that the UN was still unable to define terrorism and act on a resolution which prescribes action against countries which support or give shelter to terrorism.

“Whoever has trust in humanity should come together to fight terrorism,” he said.

Rejecting allegations of jobless growth, the Prime Minister said certain steps taken by the government would certainly produce more jobs which may not be “visible” immediately.

“Like our decision to allow malls in big cities to remain open 24×7, we have sent a model Bill to states to let small shopkeepers keep their shops open continuously. In order to do that, shopkeepers will have to employ at least one person and we have millions of small kirana shops in the country. Among the 3.5 crore beneficiaries of Mudra Yojana, 70 per cent are women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. These people will get into something or the other which will provide jobs to others and some will expand further. This sector, I would call, like the private and public sector, the personal sector where there will be prospects for jobs. All our policies in future also will be keeping this sector in mind.”

Modi also described as a key reform measure the government’s decision on no-interviews for recruitment to junior level posts in central ministries and departments. This, he said, will ensure transparency. Another major step he said was the establishment of the Bank Board Bureau to recommend appointments to leadership positions and boards in PSU banks and advise them on ways to raise funds and go ahead with mergers and acquisitions.

Criticising the Congress party for “obstructionism” in Parliament, Modi reiterated his hope on the passage of the GST Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament and said the government’s attempts to build a consensus over it were continuing. He said the the government has been in “comprehensive dialogue” with the Opposition because the government has more “responsibility” in maintaining a working relationship with the Opposition parties.

“The fact is that baring one party, the Opposition has been constructive in pursuing the larger national interest.
The whole nation knows that it is only one party which, unable to adjust to the reality of its defeat, has made obstructionism its response to every issue, regardless of the negative consequences for the nation,” he said.

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  1. N
    Nathan
    Jul 5, 2016 at 1:11 am
    Pragya Thakur for Minister of Aunty-bike bombinglt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Pruohit for Minister of Aunty-Terror bombing. Do you guys understand that!
    Reply
  2. S
    SubbuI
    Jul 5, 2016 at 2:23 am
    MJA shame on you.you will sell ur own mother religion to achieve ur wish, u the cunning chameleon first got all u want then now u wanted minister post in addition to MP. U planed and joined communal party and sold ur own brothers . If U have balls contest a election in Sanghi fold and retain ur deposit you 3rd rate journalist .we hate you more than feku. Carry on licking Encounter Gunda Shaw.
    Reply
  3. A
    ashok s
    Jul 5, 2016 at 1:28 am
    By expanding the cabinet, seriously modi is fulfilling pre polls promises he made to his mp or supporters, but not fulfilling promises he made to ordinary netizens.lt;br/gt;More minister, more bungalow s,more security, more free food, etc etc , this definitely will enhanced the employment lt;br/gt;The seventh pay commission for only centre, minister ship only for symcopantslt;br/gt;What a good governance this is??
    Reply
  4. D
    diggychacha
    Jul 5, 2016 at 4:15 am
    Google: Better Zumba dancer to get better cabinet post - Government confirms lt;br/gt;Or go to the India satire website
    Reply
  5. S
    Shakir
    Jul 5, 2016 at 1:23 am
    Hearty Congratulations to Dr Subhash Bhamre Sir , We all Dhulekars are proud of you , First Union Cabinet Minister from our Dhule i think.....Keep it up Sir , All the best.
    Reply
  6. G
    gopal
    Jul 4, 2016 at 11:56 pm
    Modi sarkar is agreed that all minister are under performing. This another publicity stunts just to add UP election.
    Reply
  7. Y
    yash sehgal
    Jul 5, 2016 at 5:17 am
    I don't know what reshuffle will be lt;br/gt;But two persons will never be changed..lt;br/gt;Smriti Irani, even if she ruins education system completely ..lt;br/gt;Arun Jaitly even if he has ruined economy..lt;br/gt;I don't know why..
    Reply
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