Reflecting his importance in the second Modi government, Amit Shah was on Wednesday inducted into three Cabinet Committees, including the prestigious one on Security, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi constituted two new panels to spur economic and employment growth in the wake of fears over an economic slowdown. The constitution of the two new Committees on Investment and Growth and Employment and Skill Development also comes on top of fears over economic slowdown and recording of high unemployment rate in 2017-18.
Amit Shah, who has made his entry into the government with the Home portfolio, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, also making his debut in the Cabinet, have been inducted into the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has reconstituted it after the formation of the new government. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are the other two members of the CCS. They were in the CCS in the earlier Modi government in their capacities as Home and Defence Ministers respectively.
Shah and Jaishankar take the place of Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, who are no longer in the government after they chose not to contest elections on health grounds. The CCS, which is headed by the prime minister, comprises the "elite four" ministers of the North and South Blocks on the Raisina Hill, consisting of Home, Defence, Finance and External Affairs
With the spectre of slowdown haunting the economy and rising unemployment, Modi constituted two new Cabinet committees under his chairmanship to spur economic growth and investment and employment. The five-member Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth includes Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Road Transport and Highways and of MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Another 10-member Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development has been formed which includes Shah, Sitharaman, Goyal, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Narendra Singh Tomar, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister Skill and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey and Ministers of State Santosh Kumar Gangwar (Labour) and Hardeep Singh Puri (Housing and Urban Affairs). In earlier governments, there used to be a Cabinet Committee on Investment.
The economy has become a major cause of concern for the new government with GDP dropping to 5.8 per cent in the last quarter of the 2018-19, according to NSSO figures. Overall GDP for last financial year has been estimated at 6.8 per cent against a target of 7.2 per cent. On the employment front, just after the elections were over the government released the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) - Annual Report (July 2017 - July 2018) which put the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent, the highest in 45 years.
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