Laxmikanth Summary: Cabinet Committees UPSC Notes | EduRev

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The cabinet works through various committees called cabinet committees. They are of two types-standing and ad hoc. The former are of a permanent nature while the latter are of a temporary nature. They are set up by the chief minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.

FEATURES OF CABINET COMMITTEES
The following are the features of Cabinet Committees:
1. They are extra-constitutional in emergence. In other words, they are not mentioned in the Constitution.
2. They are of two types standing and ad hoc. The former are of a permanent nature while the latter are of a temporary nature. The ad hoc committees are constituted from time to time to deal with special problems.
3. They are set up by the Prime Minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.
4. Their membership varies from three to eight. They usually include only Cabinet Ministers.
5. They not only include the Ministers in charge of subjects covered by them but also include other senior Ministers.
6. They are mostly headed by the Prime Minister. Sometimes other Cabinet Ministers, particularly the Home Minister or the Finance Minister, also acts as their Chairman.

FUNCTIONS OF CABINET COMMITTEES
The following four are the more important cabinet committees:
1. The Political Affairs Committee deals with all policy matters pertaining to domestic and foreign affairs.
2. The Economic Affairs Committee directs and coordinates the governmental activities in the economic sphere.
3. Appointments Committee decides all higher level appointments in the Central Secretariat, Public Enterprises, Banks and Financial Institutions.
4. Parliamentary Affairs Committee looks after the progress of government business in the Parliament.The first three committees are chaired by the Prime Minister and the last one by the Home Minister.

ABOLITION OF GOMS AND EGOMS

  • Signalling a break from the past, the Narendra Modi government on May 31, 2014, announced the “abolition" of all Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGoMs) “for greater accountability and empowerment.” 
  • Nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs were set up by the previous UPA government to take decisions on various matters such as corruption, inter-State water disputes, administrative reforms and gas and telecom pricing, before bringing them for the Cabinet’s consideration. During the UPA-II, 27 GoMs and 24 EGoMs were formed with former Defence Minister A.K. Antony heading most of the EGoMs.
  • A press statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) termed the initiative a “major move” to empower Ministries and departments. While allocating portfolios to his Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister said “all important policy matters” would be their domain.
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