The best-performing ministries according to a review led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are Power, headed by Piyush Goyal, and Nitin Gadkari’s Roads and Highways Ministry.
Yesterday, the economic affairs secretary presented an update on each ministry’s work as well as their accounts to the Prime Minister and other top members of his office. All ministries had submitted their presentations to the economic affairs secretary.
The exercise lasted five hours and comes ahead of a cabinet reshuffle expected next week before the PM leaves for a tour of Africa. Mr Modi told ministers they need to work harder to deliver on campaign promises and to promote and implement flagship government schemes. To keep a check on this, the PM reportedly wants to repeat this detailed review every three months.
“The government has been announcing good schemes but the “doot” messengers (ministers and lawmakers) have not been able to take it to the public,” the PM repeatedly told the council of ministers.
Sources who attended the review session said that the Big Four – Home, Defence, Finance and Foreign – were discussed with a very restricted group of attendees.
Sources said that the ministries red-circled as under-performers included Health, with the Prime Minister making it clear that he would like to see faster progress on plans for state-run hospitals like Delhi’s AIIMS in other parts of the country. Sources also said that the need for more IITs and IIMs, business and engineering colleges, to be quickly set up, was also stressed as a priority. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was reportedly told that improving connectivity and the persistent call-drop problems must be dealt with far more urgently.
The cabinet reshuffle next week is expected to deliver a promotion for Mr Goyal, the Power Minister. States like Uttar Pradesh which are headed for elections are expected to be granted more representation.
The council of ministers currently has 66 members including the Prime Minister. It cannot exceed 82 members.