Cabinet Committees

�The Council of Ministers at the national level works through committees. In addition to these committees, there is (a) the cabinet secretariat, (b) central secretariat, (c) the Prime Minister�s office, and a host of the officials who carry on the administration through permanent civil servants.

Cabinet Committees

�The cabinet committees assist the functioning of the Cabinet (the Council of Ministers). �The committees, are, basically, organisational devices to increase the output. �They help reduce the burden of the cabinet. In fact, they have the real power of making decisions on policy matters. �The cabinet committees are of two types: standing, and ad hoc. �There are 10 standing cabinet committees. Ad hoc cabinet committees are set up by the Prime Minister as and when required.

In March 2013, the cabinet committees were:

  1. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs
  2. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs
  3. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation
  4. Cabinet Committee on Prices
  5. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
  6. Cabinet Committee on Investment
  7. Cabinet Committee on Security
  8. Cabinet Committee on WTO related matters
  9. Appointment Committee of the Cabinet
  10. Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues.

A subject requiring the decision of the cabinet is referred to the concerned committee or a new cabinet committee may be formed for the purpose. �These committees are usually chaired by the Prime Minister or the Home Minister. �The membership of the cabinet committee varies from, usually, three to eight and may even include a non-cabinet member. Usually, the important cabinet ministers are members on these committees. As government business has increased both in amount and extent, the elaborate network of Cabinet Committees has helped clear the work. �The Cabinet Committees help the ministers to compromise with each other and thus reduce pressure of work. �The committee system helps protect the principle of collective responsibility. "Thus, ministers who are not members of the cabinet are members of one or more committees. �Therefore, all 90�Indian Polity and Governance ministers continue to be partly responsible for the government�s action. �The cabinet committees have greatly enhanced the effectiveness of political control over public services. �They create a close contact between the politicians and public servants.

Narendra Modi who took over as Prime Minister in May, 2014, has scraped four of the ten cabinet committees. Now, the six cabinet committees, as in June, 2014 are: Appointment committee, committee on accomodation, on Economic Affairs, on Parliamentary Affairs, on Political Affairs, on Security. All these committees have been reconstituted.

Written by princy

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