Ending another legacy of the previous regime, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to discontinue four Cabinet Committees, including the one on prices.

An official statement said the Prime Minister would be reconstituting the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, and the Cabinet Committees on Economic Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Political Affairs, and Security.

The functions of the Cabinet Committee on Prices will now be handled by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The CCEA will also take care of issues previously handled by the Cabinet Committee on the Unique Identification Authority of India, and Cabinet Committee on the World Trade Organisation.

The Prime Minister heads the CCEA. Its members include the Finance, Commerce & Industry, Home and Defence ministers.

The previous Government had 12 Cabinet Committees, including the latest one on investment. The Prime Minister used to head 10 while two Committees — the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation and Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs — had the Defence Minister as the Chairperson.

There is no clarity on whether the investment and skill development committee will continue.

CCEA purview

The CCEA continuously reviews economic trends, problems and prospects with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country.

Another important function of the CCEA is to deal with the increase in prices of essential commodities or bulk goods under any form of formal or informal control.

Apart from all these, any foreign investment involving an amount of ₹1,200 crore or more cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board also needs to be cleared by the economic affairs committee.

The committee on security is considered to be powerful as it normally has the big four — Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence ministers — as members. The Prime Minister is its Chairman. This panel reviews all key internal and external security-related issues.

The release also said that the Prime Minister has decided to disband the Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities. The functions of this Committee will now be handled by a Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, whenever natural calamities occur.