Daily News Analysis

CABINET COMMITTEE

15th July, 2021 Security and Defence

Context:

After a large scale rejig of his Council of Ministers, Prime Minister effected some changes in Cabinet committees to reflect the changes with the inclusion of new and elevation of certain older Ministers

 Constitutionality of the Cabinet Committees

  • With the creation of a bicameral Parliament consisting of several representatives of the people, it was deemed desirable that the Cabinet should delegate the overall responsibility regarding detailed parliamentary matters to a small standing committee of the Cabinet, specialising in this task.
  • They are extra-constitutional in emergence. In other words, they are not mentioned in the Constitution. However, the Rules of Business provide for their establishment.
  • They are of two types–standing and ad hoc.
  • The former are of a permanent nature while the latter are of a temporary nature.

 

Working of the Cabinet Committees

  • The ad hoc committees are constituted from time to time to deal with special problems.
  • They are disbanded after their task is completed.
  • They are set up by the Prime Minister according to the exigencies of the time and requirements of the situation.
  • Hence, their number, nomenclature, and composition varies from time to time.
  • Their membership varies from three to eight.
  • They usually include only Cabinet Ministers.
  • However, the non-cabinet Ministers are not debarred from their membership.
  • They not only include the Ministers in charge of subjects covered by them but also include other senior Ministers.
  • They are mostly headed by the Prime Minister. Sometimes other Cabinet Ministers

List of cabinet committees

 In 1990’s there were 13 cabinet committees but now there are just 8

  • Cabinet Committee on Political A airs
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic A airs
  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet
  • Cabinet Committee on Security
  • Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary A airs
  • Cabinet Committee on Accommodation
  • Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth
  • Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development

 Role and functions of cabinet committees

  • The Political Affairs Committee deals with all policy matters pertaining to domestic and foreign a airs.
  • The Economic Affairs Committee directs and coordinates governmental activities in the economic sphere.
  • The Appointments Committee decides all higher level appointments in the Central

Secretariat, Public Enterprises, Banks and Financial Institutions.

  • Parliamentary Affairs Committee looks after the progress of government business in the Parliament