India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, has appointed one minister over both the coal and power ministries as a first step in reforming these troublesome industries. Piyush Goyal, a former chartered accountant and investment banker, was named as minister of state for coal, power and renewable energy and was quick to promise a more transparent and rational approach to solving India’s perennial power shortage.
Getting back home after my first day in office as Minister (1.17am) and what a phenomenal day it has been! pic.twitter.com/hstZylURC7— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyalBJP) May 27, 2014
"The three ministries have been brought under one umbrella so that we can all work in tandem, hopefully cut down some costs and ensure that the objectives which [prime minister Modi] has laid down for his government and the delivery mechanism to achieve those objectives can be streamlined," Goyal told reporters.
Goyal will also have “independent charge” – meaning that he can take decisions without cabinet oversight: a potentially crucial power in the politicised and often opaque world of Indian bureaucracy.
"I am fairly confident we can settle a lot of things right so that as we go along, things are simplified, rationalised and far more honest than what we have seen in the last few years," Goyal concluded.
Written by Jonathan Rowland
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