Manmohan allocates work to all ministers, wants benchmarks set (Second Lead)

May 29th, 2009 - 1:18 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday allocated work to all members of his six-party three-tier ministry, hours after most of the ministers took oath of office at the presidential palace here.
Determined to give a boost to the sagging economy, Manmohan Singh allotted most economic ministries to members of his Congress party, which dominates the 79-member United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ministry.

The latest distribution of work follows the May 22 oath taking by six senior cabinet ministers: P. Chidambaram (Home), A.K. Antony (Defence), Sharad Pawar (Agriculture), S.M. Krishna (External Affairs), Pranab Mukherjee (Finance) and Mamata Banerjee (Railways).

At an interaction with all the ministers Thursday, the prime minister underlined the need to set benchmarks while UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi stressed that everyone would be judged by their performance.

Outgoing commerce minister Kamal Nath has been put in charge of road transport and highways, a ministry that will play a vital role in infrastructure development. Anand Sharma gets the commerce and industry portfolio that Kamal Nath held earlier.

Three economic ministries went to Tamil Nadu ally DMK, with A. Raja retaining Communications and IT, Dayanidhi Maran getting textiles, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Azhagiri’s put in charge of chemicals and fertilizers.

Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Praful Patel retained the civil aviation ministry as minister of state with independent charge.

The allocation of portfolios among 13 of the 19 cabinet ministers who had taken oath last week and 59 ministers who took oath Thursday appeared to be based on proven track record as well as ability to deliver. Besides NCP, DMK and Congress, other parties in the government are the National Conference, Indian Union Muslim League and the Trinamool Congress.

Former chief ministers Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh) is the steel minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh (Maharahstra) the minister of heavy industries and public enterprises, and Ghulam Nabi Azad (Jammu and Kashmir) the health and family welfare minister.

National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, another former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, took the ministry of new and renewable energy. Among two other former chief ministers, Sushil Kumar Shinde got the power portfolio and M. Veerappa Moily the law and justice ministry.

Among those who retained their ministries were S. Jaipal Reddy (urban development), Vayalar Ravi (overseas Indian affairs), Murli Deora (petroleum and natural gas), Subodh Kant Sahay (food processing industries) and M.S. Gill (youth affairs and sports).

Kapil Sibal, former science and technology minister, one of three ministers from Delhi, has been given the human resource development ministry, which was formerly with Congress heavyweight Arjun Singh.

Meira Kumar is minister of water resources, Ambika Soni minister of information and broadcasting, Mallikarjun Kharge minister of labour and employment, and B.K. Handique minister of mines and minister of Development of North Eastern Region.

First-timer C.P. Joshi from Rajasthan will be minister of rural development and minister of Panchayati Raj. Kumari Selja retains the minister of housing and urban poverty Alleviation but also gets the tourism portfolio while G.K. Vasan from Tamil Nadu is the minister of shipping.

Chandigarh’s three-time MP Pawan K. Bansal will be the minister of parliamentary affairs, Mukul Wasnik the minister of social justice and empowerment and Kantilal Bhuria the minister of tribal affairs.

Among ministers of state with independent charge, Prithviraj Chavan will take care of science and technology, ministry of earth sciences as well as the Prime Minister’s Office besides the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions and also parliamentary affairs.

Sriprakash Jaiswal will be minister of state (independent charge) of the ministries of coal and also statistics and programme implementation, Salman Khursheed Minister will hold corporate affairs and also minority affairs.

Dinsha J. Patel gets the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises

Krishna Tirath will take charge of women and child development. Jairam Ramesh will be the minister of environment and forests.

Among other ministers of states are: Srikant Jena (Chemicals and Fertilizers), E. Ahamed (Railways), V. Narayansamy (Planning and Parliamentary Affairs), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Commerce and Industry), D. Purandeswari (Human Resource Development), K.H. Muniyappa (Railways), Ajay Maken (Home Affairs), Mullappally Ramachandran (Home Affairs), Panabaka Lakshmi (Textiles), Namo Narain Meena (Finance), M.M. Pallam Raju (Defence), Saugata Ray (Urban Development), S.S. Palanimanickam (Finance), Jitin Prasad (Petroleum and Natural Gas), A. Sai Prathap (Steel), Preneet Kaur (External Affairs), Gurdas Kamat (Communications and Information Technology), Harish Rawat (Labour and Employment), K.V. Thomas (Agriculture and also Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution), Bharatsinh Solanki (Power), Mahadev S. Khandela (Road Transport and Highways), Dinesh Trivedi (Health and Family Welfare), Sisir Adhikari (Rural Development), Sultan Ahmed (Tourism), Mukul Roy (Shipping), Mohan Jatua (Information and Broadcasting), D. Napoleon (Social Justice and Empowerment), S. Jagathrakshakan (Information and Broadcasting), S. Gandhiselvan (Health and Family Welfare), Tusharbhai Chaudhary (Tribal Affairs), Sachin Pilot (Communications and IT), Arun Yadav (Youth Affairs and Sports), Pratik Prakashbapu Patil (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises), R.P.N. Singh (Road Transport and Highways), Shashi Tharoor (External Affairs), Vincent Pala (Water Resources), Pradeep Jain (Rural Development) and Agatha Sangma (Rural Development).

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