Cabinet Committees - Two New Committees

iasparliament Logo
June 08, 2019
9 months

Why in news?

The Union government recently released the composition of 8 Cabinet Committees, including two new ones (Investment and Employment).

What are Cabinet Committees for?

  • The Cabinet Committee are institutional arrangements to reduce the workload of the Cabinet.
  • These committees are extra-constitutional in nature and are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.
  • The executive works under the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961.
  • These Rules emerge out of Article 77(3) of the Constitution.
  • Accordingly, the President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.
  • The Rules mandate the minister-in-charge of a department (ministry) to dispose of all business allotted to a department under him or her.
  • However, on subjects involving more than one department, decision will have to be taken on concurrence.
  • On failing such concurrence, decision will have to be taken by or under the authority of the Cabinet.

How are they formed?

  • The Prime Minister constitutes Standing Committees of the Cabinet and sets out the specific functions assigned to them.
  • S/he can add or reduce the number of committees.
  • Ad hoc committees of ministers, including Groups of Ministers, may be appointed by the Cabinet or by the Prime Minister for specific matters.
  • The strength of each committee varies from three to eight members.
  • It usually includes cabinet ministers but non-cabinet members are not debarred.

What are the key Cabinet Committees?

  • Cabinet Committee on Appointments - This panel makes appointments to posts of three service chiefs, Director General of Military Operations, chiefs of all Air and Army Commands.
  • It also makes appointments to the posts of -
    1. Director General of Defence Intelligence Agency
    2. Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister
    3. Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services
    4. Director General of Ordnance Factories
    5. Director General of Defence Estates
    6. Controller General of Defence Accounts
    7. Director of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
    8. Solicitor-General
    9. Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
    10. Chairman and Members of the Railway Board
    11. Chief Vigilance Officers in Public Sector Undertakings
    12. Secretariat posts of and above the rank of Joint Secretary in the Central Government
  • It also decides on all important empanelments and shift of officers serving on Central deputation.
  • Cabinet Committee on Accommodation - This determines the guidelines or rules with regard to the allotment of government accommodation.
  • It also takes a call on the allotment of government accommodation to non-eligible persons and organisations, and decides the rent to be charged from them.
  • It can consider the allotment of accommodation from the General Pool to Members of Parliament.
  • It can consider proposals for shifting existing Central Government Offices to locations outside the capital.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs - This panel is supposed to review economic trends, problems and prospects.
  • The objective is to evolve a consistent and integrated economic policy.
  • It also does the following:
    1. coordinates all activities requiring policy decisions at the highest level
    2. deal with fixation of prices of agricultural produce and prices of essential commodities
    3. considers proposals for investment of more than Rs 1,000 crore
    4. deal with industrial licensing policies
    5. review rural development and the Public Distribution System
  • Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs - This draws the schedule for Parliament sessions and monitors the progress of government business in Parliament.
  • It scrutinises non-government business and decides which official Bills and resolutions are to be presented.
  • Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs - The committee addresses problems related to Centre-state relations.
  • It also examines economic and political issues that require a wider perspective but have no internal or external security implications.
  • Cabinet Committee on Security - It deals with issues relating to law and order and internal security.
  • It also deals with policy matters concerning foreign affairs with internal or external security implications.
  • It also goes into economic and political issues related to national security.
  • It considers all cases involving capital defence expenditure of more than Rs 1,000 crore.
  • It also considers issues related to the -
    1. Department of Defence Production
    2. the Department of Defence Research and Development
    3. Services Capital Acquisition plans
    4. schemes for procurement of security-related equipment

What are the two new panels?

  • Cabinet Committee on Investment - This Committee will identify key projects required to be implemented on a time-bound basis.
  • This applies to projects involving investments of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or any other critical projects, as may be specified by it, with regard to infrastructure and manufacturing.
  • It will prescribe time limits for giving requisite approvals and clearances by the ministries concerned in identified sectors.
  • It will also monitor the progress of such projects.
  • Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development - This is supposed to provide direction to all policies, programmes, schemes and initiatives for skill development.
  • The objective is increasing the employability of the workforce for effectively meeting the emerging requirements of the economy.
  • It facilitates mapping the benefits of demographic dividend.
  • The committee is required to enhance workforce participation, foster employment growth and identification.
  • It will work towards removal of gaps between requirement and availability of skills in various sectors.
  • The panel will set targets for expeditious implementation of all skill development initiatives and to periodically review the progress in this regard.
  • The addition of the two committees is indicative of the new focus areas for the government. The goal of both is new jobs.


Source: Indian Express

Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.