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PM Modi Forms Two High-Powered Ministerial Panels to Tackle Economic Growth and Jobs

The Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth will include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister for MSME Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

Aniruddha Ghosal | News18.com@aniruddhg1

Updated:June 5, 2019, 11:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formed two new high-powered ministerial panels led by him to bring the might of the government to tackle the two challenges facing it — economic growth and jobs — in an urgent and concerted manner, sources familiar with the matter have told News18.

A five-member Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth has been formed under the Prime Minister’s leadership and includes cabinet heavyweights like Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister of Road Transport & Highway and Minister for MSME Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

Another 10-member Cabinet Committee helmed by him will look at employment and skill development. It comprises Shah, Sitharaman, Goyal, Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister Narendra Singh Tomar, HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Skill and Entrepreneurship Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey and Ministers of State Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Hardeep Singh Puri.

Gangwar and Puri are the junior ministers in the Labour & Employment and Housing & Urban Affairs ministries.

The constitution of these two committees will force the attention of the highest levels of the government on the two key challenges and enable faster transmission of solutions through their respective ministries. Some of the solutions could find their way into the upcoming union budget that will be presented by Sitharaman on July 5.

The two committees are among the earliest cabinet panels being constituted by the Modi government in its second term in office and underscore the importance it is giving to tackling the two challenges that have been spawned by a raft of domestic and global factors.

The Indian economy grew at a much slower-than-expected 5.8% in the January-March quarter of fiscal year 2018-19, compared with 6.4% in China, government data showed last Friday. It was the slowest growth rate in more than four years in the January-March period, falling behind China's pace for the first time in nearly two years.

Separately, data on employment released by the Ministry of Statistics last week showed that unemployment rate rose to 6.1% in fiscal year 2017-18, a 45 year-high. The figure matched the number reported by a newspaper earlier this year, and was seized by opposition parties to criticise the government’s economic record.

The government has, however, said that the data released by the National Sample Survey’s Office (NSSO) was based on a new design methodology and, therefore, not comparable to previous data.

In its previous term, Modi had set up six ministerial panels in all. These included the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Security.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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