New Delhi: With the Narendra Modi government deciding to scrap all 30 Group of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs) set up by the previous UPA regime, Congress defended the ministerial groups saying they were necessitated due to the complexities of issues having inter-ministerial connotations.
While Congress did not critisise the Modi government's move saying that it is the prerogative of every government to run the administration in the manner in which they want, it added that such a group brings expertise on the table.
"I respectfully point out that GoMs and EGoMs were constituted primarily because most issues these days are complex. The issues have inter-ministerial connotations and implications. Therefore by having an inter-ministerial group, empowered or otherwise, you would bring to the table in a cohesive manner expertise across different ministries," Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
Modi on Saturday announced the decision to scrap nine Empowered Groups of Ministers and 21 Groups of Ministers saying that the move would expedite the process of decision-making and "usher in greater accountability in the system."
The Ministries and Departments will now process the issues pending before EGoMs and GoMs and take appropriate decisions at the level of Ministries and Departments itself, said a statement by the government.
The statement also said that wherever the ministries face difficulties, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister's Office will facilitate the decision-making process. The statement announcing the abolition of EGoMS and GoMs termed it as a "major move" to empower the ministries and departments. Former defence minister AK Antony was heading most of the EGoMs.
The panels were formed to take decisions on issues like corruption, inter-state water disputes, administrative reforms and gas and telecom pricing. EGoMs had the power to take decisions on the line of the Union Cabinet. The recommendations of the GoMs were placed before the Cabinet for a final call. The step is aimed at reducing the levels of decision- making and streamline the system.