RIGHTSIZING GOV­ERN­MENT Cen­tre Moots Step to Merge Min­istries

Modi govt plans to merge min­istries linked to health and ur­ban devel­op­ment

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Nidhi.Sharma@times­group.com

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

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