In a major move to expedite decision making process, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday abolished all the existing empowered group of ministers (EGoMs) and group of ministers (GoMs) with immediate effect.
These EgoMs and GoMs were set up during last one decade of UPA rule. According to an PMO release, the nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs stand abolished. It would expedite the decision making process and usher in greater accountability in the governance system.
The statement noted that henceforth the ministries and departments will process the issues pending before these EGoMs and GoMs and take appropriate decisions at the the ministries or department level itself.
“Wherever the ministries face any difficulties, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office will facilitate the decision making process,” the statement noted.
During the portfolio allocations, Modi has been assigned with ‘all important policy issues’ which implies that Prime Minister’s Office would play a key role in the decision-making process of the NDA government.
Sources said EGoMs and GoMs were constituted during UPA-I & UPA-II regimes as they were coalition governments and needed coordination. With BJP getting absolute majority on its own, Modi wants to expedite decision-making process rather than depending on GoM deliberations.
During UPA regimes, EGoMs had the power to take decisions on the line of the Union Cabinet. The recommendations of the GoMs were placed before the Cabinet for a final call.
Former defence minister AK Antony and former finance minister and now president Pranab Mukherjee were heading most of the EGoMs.
The panels were formed to take decisions on issues like corruption, inter-state water disputes, allowing quantum of foodgrain or sugar exports, administrative reforms and gas and telecom pricing.
Abolition of all the bodies consisting of ministers, follows Modi conducting separate meetings on Friday with all the ministers holding infrastructure portfolios — highway and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, coal and power minister Piyush Goyal, steel minister Narendra Tomar and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.