Business India

Cabinet reshuffle: Economic ministries’ work rewarded

A report card of the major economic ministries, based on the latest cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would suggest that these have performed well over the last three years and their ministers have been rewarded for good work.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who additionally held the Defence portfolio and has been acclaimed for his handling of the Doklam stand-off with China, has been relieved of the additional charge in line with his stated wish. He told CNN News 18 channel here on Sunday that although he had enjoyed his Defence Ministry stint enormously, it was, however, no longer possible to continue handling both the key portfolios.

The Union Finance Ministry now has two new Ministers of State (MOS) to assist Jaitley. One of them, P. Radhakrishnan, has been given this charge in addition to being MOS for Shipping.

The other MOS for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla is a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh who was a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development.

Elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly for four consecutive times in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996, Shukla was a state Cabinet Minister for eight years and is known for his work in the fields of rural development, education and prison reform.

The previous Commerce and Industry Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has been elevated to cabinet rank in recognition of her work, and has been made the new Defence Minister. Her place has been taken by Suresh Prabhu who resigned as Railway Minister on Sunday.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been elevated to cabinet rank.

Former Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal was also elevated to cabinet rank and made the new Railway Minister.

Goyal has been replaced by the newly inducted Minister of State Raj Kumar Singh, who is Lok Sabha member from Arrah, Bihar. Singh, a former Union Home Secretary, was Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Health and Family Welfare, Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances and Law and Justice.

An IAS officer of the 1975 batch, Singh served in key positions like Secretary-Defence Production and Joint Secretary, Home.

He has also headed Home, Industries, Public Works and Agriculture Departments in the Bihar government.

Singh studied English Literature at St. Stephens College, Delhi, and later pursued a law degree.

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