Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Dismantling a legacy of UPA rule, the newly formed Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Saturday abolished all EGoMs (Empowered Group of Ministers) and GoMs (Group of Ministers) for expeditious decisions and greater accountability.
An official statement from the Prime Minister`s Office said, "This decision would expedite the process of decision making and usher in greater accountability in the system."
"The ministries and departments will now process the issues pending before the EGOMs and GOMs and take appropriate decisions at the level of ministries and departments itself," said the statement.
It said wherever the ministries face difficulties, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister`s Office will facilitate the decision-making process.
There were nine empowered groups of ministers (EGOMs) and 21 groups of ministers (GOMs) in operation. They were to take decisions on various matters -- and several of them on matters seen as tricky -- before coming up before the cabinet for consideration.
In a way, this decision also poses greater accountability on PM Modi himself as he will now have to adjudicate matters where there are differences among cabinet colleagues, rather than let a panel of colleagues deliberate on them first.
The idea of such ministerial panels first cropped up and was implemented during the regime of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. More then were added under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s United Progressive (UPA) Alliance government.
Since neither the Bharatiya Janata Pary (BJP) nor the Congress party had the numbers to form governments of their own and relied on their allies, these ministerial groups were to let coalition leaders deliberate key matters before bringing them to the cabinet.
Pranab Mukherjee, now India`s president, P Chidambaram and AK Antony of the Congress party and Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led the maximum of these ministerial groups -- that at one point had swelled to as many as 60.
The EGOMs, in particular, were even bestowed with the authority to take decisions and a subsequent discussion and approval by any cabinet committee, presided over by the prime minister, was a mere formality.
The subjects of the EGOMs included issues like corruption, effective management of drought, pricing of natural gas and ultra mega power projects, while those of the GOMs included strategy for water management, national war memorial and administrative reforms.
Many of them were dismantled after they served their purpose and new ones were added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today met BJP general secretaries and discussed organisational matters apart from measures to strengthen the party ahead of assembly elections in some key states.
Modi spent over an hour with the ten party general secretaries over breakfast at his residence here seeking suggestions from them on improving governance and strengthening the party. He asked the party leaders to act as a bridge between the people and the government.
This is the first such meeting called by Modi after he took charge as Prime Minister on Monday.
Modi will meet more party workers and leaders at the BJP headquarters at Ashok Road tomorrow evening, in a bid to touch base with them and thank them for their strenuous efforts in ensuring the success of the party in Lok Sabha elections.
The meeting is believed to be an attempt to ensure that organisational strength of the BJP is not weakened in the wake of massive mandate the party received in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
With agency inputs