Meena in-charge of day-to-day FinMin affairs; PM to oversee
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Namo Narain Meena, minister of state (finance), to run the day-to-day affairs at the finance ministry. With a full-time Cabinet rank minister yet to take charge of the ministry, this would imply that Singh will keep the ministry with him for a longer duration including the monsoon session of Parliament.
According to a circular issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Meena has now been made responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the finance ministry and approving proposals of the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) and the Public Investment Board (PIB). Most of the government's expenditure plans get cleared at this stage. He has also been made in-charge of all appointments, postings and transfers in the finance ministry up to the level of Deputy Secretary.
But the minister will have to seek the PM's approval for all other notes and on Cabinet proposals. The PM is also expected to keep the reins of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that clears investment proposals of over Rs 1,000 crore.
Meena, a Congress MP from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, has been in-charge of the departments of expenditure, banking and insurance (or financial services) since he was appointed MoS (finance) in 2009. SS Palanimanickam is MoS in charge of revenue.
The Prime Minister has been holding additional charge of the finance ministry, after Pranab Mukherjee quit on June 27 to run for the Presidential polls.
The PMO has also said that Meena will also answer all Parliament questions in the upcoming monsoon session. However, to ensure that the PM too is able to field any queries relating to the economy, finance ministry officials will be expected to brief him on all Parliament questions. In order to keep himself fully abreast of all developments, the PM had earlier asked chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu to send daily an in-depth reports on the developments in the finance ministry. The PMO is expected to revert with its comments on the developments.
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