‘This will ensure greater accountability’

Signalling a break from the past, the Narendra Modi government on Saturday announced the “abolition” of all Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGoMs) “for greater accountability and empowerment.”

Nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs were set up by the previous UPA government to take decisions on various matters such as corruption, inter-State water disputes, administrative reforms and gas and telecom pricing, before bringing them for the Cabinet’s consideration.

During the UPA-II, 27 GoMs and 24 EGoMs were formed with former Defence Minister A.K. Antony heading most of the EGoMs.

A press statement issued by Mr. Modi’s office termed the initiative a “major move” to empower Ministries and departments. While allocating portfolios to his Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister said “all important policy matters” would be their domain.

The issues pending before the EGoMs and GoMs will now be processed by the Ministries and departments. “This would expedite the process of decision-making and usher in greater accountability in the system,” the statement said. “Wherever the Ministries face any difficulties, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office will facilitate the decision making process.”

The announcement came two days after Mr. Modi unveiled his 10-point agenda with a directive to the Ministers to prepare a list of issues that they will take up in the first 100 days in office, with focus on efficiency, delivery systems and implementation.

The former Minister and Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that the GoMs and the EGoMs were meant to operate as a single-window clearance on issues related to various Ministries.

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