After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent directive to target non-performing autonomous organisations for efficient governance, the Centre has prepared a list of 146 institutions which could be considered for closure or merger. The confidential list with the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been sent to the administrative ministries and central departments concerned. The PMO wants the exercise to be completed by June 2016.
The government in February had announced the intention of closure and restructure of as many as 685 autonomous bodies or institutions after a panel of secretaries recommended massive revamp, citing irrelevance and overlapping of function in many cases.
According to sources, various institutions like Cotton Corporation of India Ltd, Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India Ltd and Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation are likely to be restructured by the government. It is also examining the role and performance of 18 autonomous bodies that fall within Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, including Central Tool Room & Training Centre, Central Tool Room, Central Institute of Tool Design, and Tool Room and Training Centre.
Sources said discussions are also on to examine and restructure Central Board for Workers Education, Directorate General of Employment & Training (DGE&T), Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), India Labour Archives (ILA), Labour Bureau and National Academy for Training and Research in Social Security (NATRASS).
Government has decided to merge organisations with similar mandate to create a main body. It is reviewing function of National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities and National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation to see whether the two organisations can be merged.
“Autonomous bodies have multiplied and mushroomed over the years. Many of them have lost significance and there is role duplication in some of them.
The Centre has prepared a detailed road map which could be considered for closure or merger of autonomous institutions, indicating stepwise measures to be taken with timelines to be followed. It is targeted to be completed by April 30, 2016,” a government note stated.
According to the note, each ministry and department will undertake a comprehensive review of autonomous bodies under their control as per timeline and based on the results of the review, government may consider corporatisation, merger, disengagement or closure of the autonomous bodies.
However, in respect of some institutions like Education, Health and Research, the review will lead to policy options on user charges and enhanced internal resource mobilisation.
Top government sources said the Centre has also received Indian Law Institute report on convergence or merger of various tribunals. In February, the government had proposed reduction of the number of tribunals from 36 to 17. The report has been circulated to all the concerned ministries for their comments on the recommendations suggested in the report.
Comments of concerned ministries in respect of three tribunals—Cyber Appellate Tribunal, Railway Claims Tribunal and Railway Rates Tribunal—have been received. All the concerned registrars of 36 tribunals have also been requested to provide details of cases pending in their respective tribunal.
“Details of cases in respect of 12 tribunals have been received. An inter-ministerial group is also being constituted to study the report submitted by the Indian Law Institute, to look into the comments received from various ministries and give its suggestion on convergence or merger of tribunals within a period of two months.”
On the hit list
■ Cotton Corporation of India Ltd
■ Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India
■ Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation
■ Central Tool Room & Training Centre
■ Central Tool Room
■ Central Institute of Tool Design
■ Tool Room and Training Centre
■ Central Board for Workers Education