RIGHTSIZING GOVERNMENT Centre Moots Step to Merge Ministries
Modi govt plans to merge ministries linked to health and urban development
New Delhi: The Centre has started the spadework to ‘rightsize’ the government.WorkingonPMModi’sconceptof ‘minimumgovernmentmaximum governance,’ the Centre is preparing the ground to merge ministries of urban development and housing and urban poverty alleviation and bring pharmaceuticals and AYUSH under the health ministry.
The new entities could come into being this financial year. According to a governmentrepresentative,aconcept noteisbeingpreparedwhichwilltake into account financial implications and new names for the merged ministries and departments. The merged urbandevelopmentandhousingministries may be called Ministry of Urban Affairs and Housing. Earlier, a group of secretaries on urban development, health and sanitation, had recommendedright-sizing the gover nment. The plan includes apart from merging of ministries and departments, converging schemes and ‘right-sizing’ institutions. The measure is meant to improve planningandimplementationof government schemes. A senior government official told ET, “Earlier, urban development and housing and urban poverty alleviation were under a single ministry. It is being felt that a separate ministry to deal with programmes for the urban poor is not workingwell.Weneedaholisticstrategy for urban reforms and urban renewal keeping the poor in the fold.”
A similar argument has been made for bringing pharmaceuticals under health ministry. At present, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority is under the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers and other drug-related issues are handled by health ministry. AYUSH, the ministry which deals with Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, is a separate department. As per plan, the CPWD, Town and CountryPlanningOfficeandCentral Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation are likely to be merged into National Institute of Urban Affairs.
Govt plan includes converging schemes and ‘rightsizing’ institutions