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Cabinet committees can play a crucial role in accelerating the government's decision-making and reforms


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(@newadmin)
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Cabinet committees can play a crucial role in accelerating the government's decision-making and reforms. Explain. 10 Marks 

Viewpoints:

  • Introduce by giving brief details about the Cabinet Committees.
  • Explain their role in the accelerating government’s decision making and reforms.
  • Conclude by suggesting reforms to make it more effective. 

 

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(@indigo)
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The Cabinet Committees are not mentioned in the Constitution. Indeed,when Government of India Transaction of Business Rules,1961 emerging out of Article 77(3) of the Constitution states : "The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Gov. of India,and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business", then these rules of business provide for their establishment.

                                          In 2019, the Union Government had released  the composition of eight cabinet committees,including two new ones ---- one on Investment and the other on Employment & Skill development.

                                          All Committees except Cabinet Committee on Accomodation and Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs  are headed by Prime Minister.

Cabinet Committee's role on Government's Decission - Making Matters :---

1. Appointments :  This panel makes appointments to post of the three Service chiefs, Director General of Military operations, Chiefs of all Air, Army comands etc. Apart from this the Committee decides on all important empanelments & shift of Officers serving on Central Deputation.

2. Economic Affairs : The Cabinet Committee on Economic affairs is supposed to review economic trends & problems for evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy.

3. Parliamentary Affairs : The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs  scrutinies Non-Gov. business & decides which 0fficial Bills are to be presented.

4. Accomodation : The Cabinet Committee can consider proposals for shifting Central Gov. Officers to locations outside the Capital.

5. Political Affairs : The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs addresses problems related to Centre - State relations and decides what to do.etc

Cabinet Committee's roles on Reforms : ------

1. Opening Ayushman Bharat to all citizens.

2. Presenting Google Drive like Bharat Drive.

3. Bringing New Emigration Bill in 2020.

4. Conducting All India Judicial Service.

5. Convergence of Ministers,PSO Boards where possible.

6. Launch of DD International and DD Yuva etc.

                                      Thus Cabinet Committees now play a crucial role in acclerating the Gov. Decision making and reforms.

 

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Modal Answer

Cabinet Committees are extra-constitutional organizations meant to reduce the workload of the Parliament. The Rules of business of the House provide for their establishment. These Rules emerge from Article 77(3) of the Constitution. 

 

Cabinet Committees are categorized into Standing and Ad hoc Cabinet Committees. The former are permanent and with a specific job, while the latter are temporary which are formed at times to deal with special problems and are disbanded after their job is done.

 

Role played by the Cabinet Committees:

  • They enable the Ministers to bargain and compromise with each other, reducing the pressure of work upon the Cabinet.
  • They safeguard the principle of collective responsibility, which is an essential feature of the cabinet system.
  • When an activity/agenda of the government requires special attention or acquires prominence, a separate cabinet committee is set up for focused attention.  
  • Public servants are called upon by the Committee to justify their proposal and comment on problems under review. This establishes a close interface between the politicians and public servants.
  • It also acts as a check against one department carrying a disproportionate weight of opinion. They act as a collective check on the individual ministers and the Prime Minister.
  • They focus supra-ministry attention on particular sectors of administration and help in effective coordination.
  • Increasing complexity of governance requires in-depth knowledge and specialization for effective policy making. It ensures effectiveness in the execution of government business.

 

However, the functioning of these committees is not without issues, some of which include:

  • The chairmanship of the Prime Minister of all cabinet committees is difficult for the cabinet to play a revisionary role.
  • Most of the cabinet committees tend to be loaded with cabinet ministers. Some ministers of state do not figure in cabinet committees, even though they are in independent charge of ministries.
  • The committees are empowered to take decisions only if matters have been referred to them by order of the minister concerned or by the cabinet.
  • There has been an issue with irregularity in meetings of these committees and hence progress in implementation of important policies and programs is not kept under constant review.

They help in conflict resolution and inter-ministry coordination. The ARC desired that each of the cabinet committees should be supported by a member of the committee of secretaries which will consider in advance all matters to be taken up by the cabinet committee. 

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