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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