Cabinet committees are established to reduce the workload of the Cabinet Minister. These committees facilitate deep examination of the policy issue and effective coordination. Such committees are based on the principal of division of labour.
- The role of Cabinet Committees as an instrument to fast track governance reforms and thereby accelerating the pace of economic development is not new.
- Ad hoc committees of ministers, including Groups of Ministers, may be appointed by the Cabinet or by the Prime Minister for specific matters.
- Under the Government of India’s transaction of business rules, 1961, the PM is empowered to set up and reconstitute cabinet committees.
Note: Prime Minister will chair/headed to the following Cabinet Committees:
- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
- Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs
- Cabinet Committee on Security
- Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth
- Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development
The Union government released the composition of eight Cabinet Committees, including two new ones — one on Investment, the other on Employment and Skill Development.
1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation (CCA)
3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)
4. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA)
5. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA)
6. Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)
1. Cabinet committee on Investment & Growth
2. Cabinet Committee on Employment and skill development
Features of Cabinet Committees
2. The Prime Minister sets up different cabinet committees with selected members of the Cabinet and assigns specific functions to these committees. The Prime Minister may even change the numbers of committees and modify the functions assigned to them.
3. If the Prime Minister is a member of any such committee, he acts as the head of the committee.
4. The membership varies from three to eight. Usually, only cabinet ministers are the member of these committees. But, sometimes non- cabinet ministers may also be the member or may be special invitees to the committee.
5. They solve issues and formulate proposals for the consideration of the cabinet and take decisions on matters assigned to them. However, the cabinet is empowered to review such decisions.
The composition and functions of various cabinet committees are mentioned below:
1. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
The committee is headed by the Prime Minister. The Minister of Home Affairs and Minister in-charge of the concerned Ministry are the members of this committee. The important functions of the committee are:
(i) To take decision regarding all higher level appointments in the Cabinet Secretariat, public enterprises, banks and financial institutions.
(ii) To decide all cases of disagreement relating to appointments between the Department or Ministry concerned and the Union Public Service Commission.
(iii) To consider and decide representations, appeals and memorials from officers of the rank or pay equivalent to or higher than a Joint Secretary in the Central Government.
2. Cabinet Committee on Accommodation
The committee is composed of cabinet ministers from various ministries with one of them as the head. The important functions of the committee are:
(i) To determine the guidelines or rules and terms and conditions to govern out-of-turn allotment of government accommodation and allotment of accommodation to the members of the parliament
(ii) To decide upon the allotment of government accommodation to various categories of non-eligible persons and organizations and the rate of rent to be charged from them
(iii) to consider proposals regarding shifting of the existing Central Government Offices to places outside Delhi and the location of new offices in Delhi.
3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
The Prime Minister is the head of this committee. Cabinet ministers of various ministries are its members. Its important functions are:
(i) To direct and coordinate the governmental activities in the economic sphere.
(ii) To review economic trends and evolve consistent and integrated policy framework in the country.
(iii) To review progress of activities related to rural development including those concerning small and marginal farmers
(iv) To deal with industrial licensing cases involving proposals from the Ministries for the establishment of Joint Sector Undertakings
(v) To consider issues relating to disinvestment
Other functions which have been allotted to the committee are:
(i) To consider and decide on issues pertaining to the World Trade Organization.
(ii) To consider issues relating to the Unique Identification Authority of India
(iii) To monitor general prices, assess availability and export of essential and agricultural commodities and to take measures for efficient Public Distribution System
4. Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs
The committee is headed by the Prime Minister. Cabinet ministers of various ministries are its members. Its important functions are:
(i) To deal with problems relating to Centre-State relations
(ii) To consider economic and political issues which have to be judged with a wider perspective
(iii) To deal with policy matters concerning foreign affairs which do not have external or internal security implications
5. Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs
This committee is composed of cabinet ministers from various ministers. The Union Home Minister is the head of the committee. The functions of the committee are:
(i) To watch the progress of Government business in Parliament and to give directions necessary to secure smooth and efficient conduct of such business
(ii) To scrutinize and to consider the attitude of the government on non-official bills and resolutions to be presented to Parliament
(iii) To review legislations undertaken by State Legislatures from an all-India point of view
(iv) To consider proposals to summon or discontinue the Houses of Parliament
6. Cabinet Committee on Security
The Prime Minister is the head of this committee. Cabinet ministers of Finance, Defense, Home Affairs and External Affairs are its members.
The important functions of the committee are:
(i) To deal with all Defence related issues
(ii) To deal with issues relating to law and order, and internal security
(iii) To deal with policy matters concerning foreign affairs on security related issues
(iv) To deal with economic and political issues impinging on national security
(v) To review the manpower requirements relating to national security
(vi) To consider all matters relating to atomic energy
7. The Cabinet Committee on Investment
The Cabinet Committee on Investment will
(i)“identify key projects required to be implemented on a time-bound basis”, involving investments of Rs 1,000 crore or more, or any other critical projects, as may be specified by it, with regard to infrastructure and manufacturing.
(ii) It will prescribe time limits for giving requisite approvals and clearances by the ministries concerned in identified sectors.
(iii) It will also monitor the progress of such projects.
8. The Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development
The Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development is supposed
(i) to provide “direction to all policies, programmes, schemes and initiatives for skill development aimed at increasing the employability of the workforce for effectively meeting the emerging requirements of the rapidly growing economy and mapping the benefits of demographic dividend”.
(ii) It is required to enhance workforce participation, foster employment growth and identification, and work towards removal of gaps between requirement and availability of skills in various sectors.
(iii) The panel will set targets for expeditious implementation of all skill development initiatives by the ministries and to periodically review the progress in this regard.