Still at Discussion Stage
Power and renewables could also be merged into petroleum and natural gas.
The possibility of hiving off internal security from ministry of home affairs is also being examined. Interestingly, this is something P Chidambaram had proposed in December 2009 when he talked about restructuring the home ministry and setting up of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). The possible reshaping of the home ministry is believed to have come up in Modi’s discussions with former IB chief AK Doval – the frontrunner to the post of NSA – and home secretary Anil Goswami on Monday.
The feasibility of bringing internal security under the PMO was discussed.
“If internal security that includes IB, anti-naxal and terror operations, Jammu and Kashmir and police modernisation come under one umbrella of PMO, it will ensure better coordination and action,” a senior security expert told ET. Other agencies like R&AW and NTRO already report to the Cabinet Secretariat which comes under the PMO.
Another option that was discussed was creating a separate section within the home ministry and putting a MoS in charge of it, a role which the late Rajesh Pilot played in Narasimha Rao’s government.
Modi is also said to be keen to seek help from technocrats. Sources said that while Modi is not in favour of a formal advisory council, but may consult specialists on various areas, particularly infrastructure. “Experts from diverse fields have been identified and a small data bank prepared to be used when the need arises,” explained a senior BJP leader. All experts and bureaucrats ET spoke to said all this was still at the discussion stage. “You never know what will actually be decided,” said a senior government official. Industry leaders strongly supported the idea of a smaller ministerial council. “Too many ministries means too much coordination needed. It’s a known fact that many ministries were created to accommodate many allies. With the kind of mandate that BJP has got, the potential for consolidation is there and it will be a big positive across the board,” said Ajay Shriram, president of CII. “From the little that one knows of the PM designate, his decision-making style and his ability to decide what he wants to do, there is enough time till May 26 to take a decision on consolidating some ministries for better control, co-ordination and governance,” Shriram added. Assocham president Rana Kapoor, called for a clusterbased approach to government formation.