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Govt to need successor to head Pranab GoMs

New Delhi: With Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee virtually set to move to Rashtrapati Bhawan as President, government will have to look for successors to chair the two dozen odd GoMs and EGoMs he heads.

Mukherjee chairs ministerial groups on diverse issues from deciding the location of the National War Memorial to tackling issues related 2G and 3G telecom licenses.

Of the current 39 ministerial groups, he chairs 12 of the 27 Group of Ministers and all the 12 Empowered Group of Ministers.

Among the keenly watched EGoMs is the ministerial group on auction of telecom spectrum for its examination of the 2G reserve price and the policy for auctioning spectrum. Another EGoM takes decisions on the Centre`s policy on the Mass Rapid Transport System, which includes metro rail projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.

The group on procurement and management of food is also a crucial one as it also deals with the UPA-II`s ambitious agenda of the National Food Security Bill. The EGoM has taken some key policy decisions like opening the export of wheat and rice last year.

The ministerial group on under-recoveries of the oil marketing companies on sale of petrol, diesel, PDS kerosene and domestic LPG which decided to raised the prices of three regulated items.

Mukherjee also chaired the GoM on tackling corruption which cleared the Public Procurement Bill which was introduced in the Budget Session of Parliament. Besides, the Finance Minister also chaired a number of GoMs set up since the UPA-II came to power in 2009.

"47 GoMs and 13 EGoMs constituted since 22.05.2009, have either submitted their report(s) or considered the issue(s) placed before them," the government informed the Lok Sabha last month.

Mukherjee also heads GoMs, including those to Review Fertiliser Policy, location of National War Memorial, economic cooperation agreement between India and ASEAN, Administrative Reforms Commission, Civil Aviation, Coal Mines Amendment Bill and issues related to World Trade Organisation.

Home Minister P Chidambaram chairs 10 GoMs, with the latest addition to his list being the one to look into the constitution of a independent regulator for the coal sector.

Chidambaram also chairs ministerial groups to oversee the modernisation of transport system in Delhi, issues pertaining to functioning of Prasar Bharti, management of salt-pan land in Mumbai, construction of a greenfield airport, committee regarding Bhopal gas leak disaster among others.

So far, 99 GoMs or EGoMs have been constituted since the UPA-II came to power in 2009. UPA-I had constituted about 80 GoMs.

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