July 26, 2020
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The PMO Responds

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The PMO Responds
Ashok Tandon, the PMO spokesperson, responds to Outlook's questionnaire regarding the role of the PMO in economic decisions.

It has been alleged by a senior bureaucrat who quit from the government recently that the pmo is over-extending itself to push economic decisions. How true is this?
All government decisions, including those relating to economic issues, are taken collectively by the cabinet. There is no question of the pmo over-extending itself to push any particular decision.

Is the setting up of Group of Ministers by the pmo stifling the functioning of key ministries?

Group of Ministers on any issue is set up by the Union cabinet and not by the pmo.

How would you define the role of the pmo in a liberalised economy?
The role of pmo is to assist the Prime Minister. There has been no change in this role so far.

Is the finance ministry's inability to wade through inter-ministerial gridlock the reason for the pmo becoming pro-active?
No. The question does not arise.

Does the pmo have an increasing control over the economic agenda?
There has been no change in the role of the pmo in the last three years. The economic agenda of the government is decided by the cabinet based on the policies and programmes of the ruling NDA.

How much of a role do influential business houses play in influencing decisions?
None whatsoever.
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