Theweekendleader

2020's first ministerial huddle on economy, rural infra

New Delhi

03-January-2020

With the new year kicking in with new resolutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi got into the first huddle of 2020 with his council of ministers on Friday evening.

With economic woes persisting and leading to the hike of railway fares for the first time in five years, the focus of Friday's meet will be on ministers holding portfolios that have a direct link to the nation's economy and rural infrastructure, said informed sources.

Sources also say the Prime Minister along with his ministerial colleagues may be given a briefing on the status of Air India's privatisation, so that everyone has a fair idea. In recent days, the process of selling off the Maharaja has picked up steam.

Modi is also likely to ask Gajendra Shekhawat's ministry to give a presentation on Atal Jal Yojna that was launched and named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, last Christmas, Vajpayee's birthday.

8,300 villages in states such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka will benefit from it.

Just four days before this Christmas, Modi held 2019's last meeting of the full council of ministers at the newly-inaugurated Gujarat Bhawan.

Friday's meeting assumes significance as speculations of Cabinet expansion are doing the rounds for quite some time now. While few high profile ministers are rumoured to be shown the door, few technocrats are likely to be brought in.

Sources say, the meeting will spill over to Saturday when the same council of ministers will reconvene at 10.30 in the morning.
IANS