The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who is the Minister-in-charge for Finance, has shed the responsibility of overseeing day-to-day work relating to the three key departments to the junior Minister, Mr Namo Narain Meena. The three key departments are Expenditure, Financial Services and Economic Affairs.
Mr Meena, who is already looking after the Departments of Expenditure and Financial Services, will get additional charge of Economic Affairs, according to an official release on re-allocation of Finance Ministry work.
But, Dr Singh would look into the comments of the Finance Ministry in all major proposals for consideration of the Cabinet or its committees, the release added.
According to the new arrangement, all proposals related to sanction of non-Plan expenditure up to Rs 300 crore would be cleared by Mr Meena. However, cases of Rs 300 crore and above that require Cabinet/CCEA approval will be put up to the Minister-in-Charge (PM).
Dr Singh had recently taken charge of the Finance portfolio following the resignation of Mr Pranab Mukherjee, who is the UPA’s nominee for the Presidential elections.
In the case of Department of Financial Services, all matters except those meant for Cabinet and its committees and policy matters have been delegated to Mr Meena, who will also look at the appointment of non-official directors in public sector bank boards.
Mr Meena will now look after all work relating to National Savings Organisation and small savings-related matters, as also issues pertaining to currency and coinage. He will also look at approval of Plan schemes (including public-private partnership projects) with original cost estimates up to Rs 300 crore.
Mr Meena will be responsible for answering all starred and unstarred questions (after the Minister-in-Charge has been briefed on the replies for starred questions) and all Parliamentary work, including verification and authentication of notifications, other documents, reports etc, which are required to be laid on the table of either House.
In all cases where a draft note for the Cabinet or its committees has been sent to more than one Department the Ministry for comments, one consolidated file is to be put up for orders of the Prime Minister.