Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shed UPA baggage: GoMs, EGoMs to be junked

Narendra Modi abolishes all 30 GoMs an EGoMs to ensure fast decision-making and an increase in accountability.

By: Press Trust of India Written by D K Singh | New Delhi | Updated: June 1, 2014 11:25 am
Party had attacked Modi over his 10-point governance agenda and termed it Ten Commandments. Party had attacked Modi over his 10-point governance agenda and termed it Ten Commandments.

To expedite decision-making in the government and usher in “greater accountability” in the system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday abolished all existing Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs) and GoMs, which had become a symbol and an instrument of policy paralysis during the previous UPA government.

Ministries and departments will now process the issues pending before the EGoMs and GoMs, and take appropriate decisions at their level.

“Wherever the ministries face any difficulties, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office will facilitate the decision-making process,” said an official release, emphasising that abolition of the existing nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs was meant to “empower the ministries and departments”.

The move is apparently in keeping with Modi’s motto of “minimum government, maximum governance” and “decisive government”, which he had emphasised throughout his campaign.

While the idea of such panels was conceived during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, as a means to sort out inter-ministerial conflict of views on important policy issues, under the UPA, the number of such GoMs and EGoMs had mushroomed to over 80 at one point in time. The panels had held up decisions on many issues in the name of consultation, particularly as these were not given any timeline.

Many such panels hardly ever met. For instance, the GoM on interlinking of rivers did not have a single meeting, said sources. The GoMs on many other issues like setting up of the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, pension and post-retirement medical schemes for Food Corporation of India employees, amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, and on enhancement of age of superannuation of non-teaching and public health specialists of the Central Health Service too never met. Some GoMs like the one on domestic workers met just once.

With a powerful Congressman and Cabinet minister like Pranab Mukherjee heading over 50 EGoMs and GoMs at one stage, the then PMO was virtually left with no remit to vet any decision of these panels.

Many of these GoMs were also headed by then defence minister A K Antony, who was known to be a status-quoist with little enthusiasm for innovative ideas.

The dismantling of the EGoMs and GoMs is likely to restore the authority and supremacy of the PMO, with the PM having the last word on policy-making in the event of differences among ministries. Manmohan Singh’s image as a weak PM was built on the argument that he did not have the last word when it came to crucial issues of governance.

“The prime minister has to be the guiding force of any government in terms of outlining its vision for the country and drawing up the roadmap to achieve it, but it’s the ministries and departments that have to implement them. The PMO will step in if and when ministries have conflicting views delaying decisions,” said a source.

Apart from cutting down administrative structures and layers of decision-making, the abolition of EGoMs and GoMs would also ensure accoutability. The PMO will monitor, supervise and hold people accountable for implementation of policies to ensure that the system works, said sources.

The Wheels within wheels

At one time under UPA, there were 80 GoMs, EGoMs
GoM on minimum wages, among others, did not have a single meeting
GoMs like the one on domestic workers met just once
Pranab Mukherjee alone headed over 50 EGoMs, GoMs

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  1. A
    Abhishek Kumar
    Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
    Congress is single secular party in country & other are communal, Gujarat has 22,485 waqf properties, whose benefits are likely enjo by the state government, which was reluctant to provide detail information when sought through RTI. As per available information, Gujarat now has only 11,592 waqf properties. Where are the remaining nearly 11,000 properties gone? Modi alone can answer this as he’s been ruling the state even before Sachar report was released. Whereas in Bihar, there were 2,548 waqf properties as per government records, slightly higher than 2,459 per Sachar report. And these properties are generating substantial revenue.
    Reply
    1. A
      Abhishek Kumar
      Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
      Congress is single secular party in country & other are communal, Gujarat tops in keeping young Muslims behind bars as per Sachar report. Rajender Sachar himself told UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav that most of the Muslim youngsters behind bars in Gujarat are from Uttar Pradesh. A 2012 report from National Crime Record Bureau that shows 932 Muslims were convicted in 2012, which was 24% of total prisoners’ potion. In the same year, 151 Muslims were detained, which is 30% of jail potion.
      Reply
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        Abhishek Kumar
        Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
        Congress is single secular party in country & other are communal, If Modi stands for an economically right-wing, business-friendly government, then where exactly is that audacious new idea in any of his speeches? Or is it difficult to make such pronouncements because there is no ideological unanimity between BJP and Sangh Parivar on business-friendly economics? If so, then the ideological confusion in a BJP-led government will be as much of a stumbling block as the sharp cleavage between “reformists” and “welfares” in the UPA.
        Reply
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          Abhishek Kumar
          Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
          Congress is single secular party in country & other are communal, Modi talked about literacy in his speech. The condition of schools in his ‘vibrant Gujarat’ is not better than Kerala or any other Industrialist state. What’s being taught in school is a matter of intellectual political debate.
          Reply
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            Abhishek Kumar
            Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
            Congress is single secular party in country & other are communal, let’s look at another aspect of the Gujarat model, the Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog Bill 2013. The selection committee for Lokayukta includes the CM as chairman, speaker, a Cabinet minister, Leader of Opposition, a high court judge and the vigilance commissioner. Four of the six are either ruling party members or government functionaries. Clearly a toothless Lokayukta operates under the watchful eye of the executive. He hasn’t yet told us what he thinks of the UPA’s Lokpal Bill.
            Reply
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              Abhishek Kumar
              Jun 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
              Congress is single secular party in country & other is communal, 2002 Gujarat riots took place right under Modi’s nose. He was sitting on the helm of affairs but failed to pre-empt and contain the riots which continued for as many as over 100 days and nights! If there was no covert & tacit approval of Modi, why did he fail to stop these?
              Reply
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                Abhishek Kumar
                Jun 1, 2014 at 11:08 am
                Congress is single secular party in country & other is communal, Modi and his followers have to agree that either Modi was an accomplice or acted as an utterly failed administrator. A person who could not manage peace in one State, how can he do so in the entire country?
                Reply
                1. A
                  Abhishek Kumar
                  Jun 1, 2014 at 11:08 am
                  Congress is single secular party in country & other is communal, the One Man government is what provides streamlined administration. But can such a one-man administration be replicated the Centre? Will state CMs be easily bludgeoned into following the diktat of an all-powerful Modi personality cult at the Centre? How does the BJP plan to deliver good governance, through the Gujarat model? Can the Gujarat model become an all-India model?
                  Reply
                  1. C
                    Chandi Sharma
                    Jun 1, 2014 at 11:39 am
                    BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always work for all, This point of time to compare RSS-BJP-Modi with any other electoral formation is dangerous as BJP is a different cup of tea, it is molded for Hindu nationalism, and Modi with his fascist tendencies is unable to conceal his fangs. Those equating BJP-Modi with any other party are doing a fatal mistake, which the country may have to regret later at the cost of loosing democracy.
                    Reply
                    1. C
                      Chandi Sharma
                      Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
                      BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always work for all, This point of time to compare RSS-BJP-Modi with any other electoral formation is dangerous as BJP is a different cup of tea, it is molded for Hindu nationalism, and Modi with his fascist tendencies is unable to conceal his fangs. Those equating BJP-Modi with any other party are doing a fatal mistake, which the country may have to regret later at the cost of loosing democracy.
                      Reply
                      1. C
                        Chandi Sharma
                        Jun 1, 2014 at 11:39 am
                        BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always work for all, as Modi belongs to the Hindu nationalism school of thought for whom hi and his ideology were not acceptable for their strong support for diversity of India. Here they also undermine Sardar Patel who was equally committed to the values of pluralism and secularism of India, in shaping which he contributed immensely. Patel was committed to actualize hi’s dream of secular India, and for this he contributed all his life.
                        Reply
                        1. C
                          Chandi Sharma
                          Jun 1, 2014 at 11:47 am
                          BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always work for all, as Modi belongs to the Hindu nationalism school of thought for whom hi and his ideology were not acceptable for their strong support for diversity of India. Here they also undermine Sardar Patel who was equally committed to the values of pluralism and secularism of India, in shaping which he contributed immensely. Patel was committed to actualize hi’s dream of secular India, and for this he contributed all his life.
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            Chandi Sharma
                            Jun 1, 2014 at 11:40 am
                            BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Gujarat has become the citadel of the saffron brotherhood for quite some time and we at Jan Sangharsh Manch know the ruthlessness with which the rightist forces can function to capture the power through the electoral process and subvert the rule of law as soon as they get into power. The aftermath of the 2002 riots and the complete denial of justice to the minorities by paralyzing all the insutions of state-power is too recent to be overlooked.
                            Reply
                            1. C
                              Chandi Sharma
                              Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
                              BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Gujarat has become the citadel of the saffron brotherhood for quite some time and we at Jan Sangharsh Manch know the ruthlessness with which the rightist forces can function to capture the power through the electoral process and subvert the rule of law as soon as they get into power. The aftermath of the 2002 riots and the complete denial of justice to the minorities by paralyzing all the insutions of state-power is too recent to be overlooked.
                              Reply
                              1. C
                                Chandi Sharma
                                Jun 1, 2014 at 11:40 am
                                BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Losing doesn’t mean that congress is finish it mean congress always in peoples heart, Congress always in people hearts country love congress only.
                                Reply
                                1. C
                                  Chandi Sharma
                                  Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
                                  BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Losing doesn’t mean that congress is finish it mean congress always in peoples heart, Congress always in people hearts country love congress only.
                                  Reply
                                  1. C
                                    Chandi Sharma
                                    Jun 1, 2014 at 11:40 am
                                    BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Since Modi chose Vivekananda to present your sophistries in front of the religiously inclined Gujarati poce, it is important to remind you that Swami Vivekananda was a seeker of truth and not a pracioner of deceit. No one like Modi he is a communal person.
                                    Reply
                                    1. C
                                      Chandi Sharma
                                      Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
                                      BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; Since Modi chose Vivekananda to present your sophistries in front of the religiously inclined Gujarati poce, it is important to remind you that Swami Vivekananda was a seeker of truth and not a pracioner of deceit. No one like Modi he is a communal person.
                                      Reply
                                      1. C
                                        Chandi Sharma
                                        Jun 1, 2014 at 11:39 am
                                        BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; let’s recall that Hitler also came to power through democratic means. Having once come to power, he was quick enough to abolish democracy and impose fascism through his multiple wings, storm troopers, foot soldiers on one side and the followers of his ideology in different forms, on the other. Warning bells are loud and clear, those wanting to live in a democratic Indian nation need to take it as a wakeup call.
                                        Reply
                                        1. C
                                          Chandi Sharma
                                          Jun 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
                                          BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; let’s recall that Hitler also came to power through democratic means. Having once come to power, he was quick enough to abolish democracy and impose fascism through his multiple wings, storm troopers, foot soldiers on one side and the followers of his ideology in different forms, on the other. Warning bells are loud and clear, those wanting to live in a democratic Indian nation need to take it as a wakeup call.
                                          Reply
                                          1. C
                                            Chandi Sharma
                                            Jun 1, 2014 at 11:40 am
                                            BJP always plays divisive politics but Congress always works for all; never in matters of physical security is Modi or Sangh the Muslim preference. They have not been seen to be addressing this concern sincerely and forthrightly. It is a sad comment on the state of our democracy that physical security remains the first concern of 150 million Indians. Modi has not been of great help in that.
                                            Reply
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