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Modi likely to have smaller cabinet than UPA-2: Shourie


New Delhi, May 23 :

Senior BJP leader Arun Shourie Friday said Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is likely to have a smaller cabinet than the UPA-2 government.

Arun Shourie
Arun Shourie

“Certainly Mr Modi is very keen on that (downsizing),” Shourie told CNN-IBN TV channel. “Even 40-50 cabinet members are very high,” he added. The United Progressive Alliance-2 government had around 70 ministers.

The former minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government also mooted the idea of putting all the public sector units under a “holding committee”.

“The most creative idea in downsizing has come from TV 18’s Raghav Bahl that take all PSUs out of all ministries and put them under a holding committee. You will start with an asset base of $300-400 billion. On the basis of that his estimate is that anything that you want to raise between $500 billion to a trillion dollars in the next five years you can raise and use it for infrastructure,” said Shourie. Raghav Bahl is the head of TV 18, a media conglomerate.

Shourie added that Modi was not likely to set up Groups of Ministers to take decisions, as was the case during UPA-2’s regime.

“I will be astonished if Mr Modi sets up GoMs. It (setting up GoMs during UPA-2) was the announcement of helplessness of Manmohan Singh, (that) nobody was listening to him, (that) he could not enforce a decision,” he said.

Shourie said the investment climate in India could be turned around in three months.

“You can stimulate growth in India. Now you have a government in place and you can change the investment sentiment in three months. There is no doubt about that. You can start the investment cycle and then consequences will follow, jobs will follow and it’s not a 3 month government. It’s a government for five years,” he said.

Shourie also praised Modi for inviting the leaders of SAARC nations to his swearing-in ceremony.

“That’s a very good move. Everybody is saying he will not reach out to anybody, people believe he will not reach out to civil servants or to the chief ministers. He is inviting everybody, including the leaders of SAARC. It is a very good idea,” he said.