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How Many Ministries Do We Really Need?

India Hangout

How Many Ministries Do We Really Need?


With Narendra Modi all set to be sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India, the question we are asking is – How many ministries do we really need to govern India?


BoomNews’s show #TheIndiaHangout got together Govindraj Ethiraj, Subir Gokarn of Brookings Institute, AK Bhattacharya, Editor, Business Standard and author Rasheed Kidwai to debate the issue.


Key higlights:


A Govt report said ideal size would be 20-25 ministries


Size can be decided based on what the Govt should be doing: Gokarn


We definitely need somebody who has an overview of domains: Gokarn


For example, talk of energy and you can combine several ministries: Gokarn


Heirarchies need to be compressed: Gokarn


The aim should be maximum governance, minimum government: Bhattacharya


Legislation allows Govt to have as large as 79 ministries: Bhattacharya


Cabinet ministers can very easily be brought down to 14: Bhattacharya


If he fails to reduce size of ministry, there will be no change in governance: Bhattacharya


Modi has the mandate to draw the line and say that I am delivering on my promises: Gokarn


In our system of governance, bureaucracy is important but ministers are more important: Bhattacharya


The starting point would be to have a lean ministry: Bhattacharya


There is a huge demographic opportunity materialsing in Govt as a whole: Gokarn


Public sector employment gathered momentum in the late 60s-early 70s: Gokarn


A lot of the early govt recruits are actually retiring: Gokarn


I think around 30% of the banking workforce is retiring over the next five years: Gokarn


This is the most significant opportunity to undertake administrative reforms: Gokarn


Infrastructure needs something like the Planning Commission outside the ministerial domain: Gokarn


I would be looking at the domains that cabinet ministers are given and who are the operating ministers: Gokarn


Food, jobs and infrastructure needs amalgamation of many ministries: Gokarn



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