As part of cost rationalisation drive in a pandemic year, the government is readying recommendations to either shut or merge a number of its own departments and divisions.
"We are preparing recommendations for every ministry. There are a host of bodies and divisions within government departments that can be shut down or merged with other relevant wings, in order to cut costs," a senior government official told Moneycontrol.
The government is preparing recommendations to merge Registrar of Newspaper with Press Council of India, India Brand Equity Foundation under Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade into Invest India, and publication division under Information and Broadcasting ministry, into Bureau of outreach and Communication, among others, according to documents reviewed by Moneycontrol.
"We are preparing department-by-department, ministry-wise, rationalisation notes by mapping out every department under the government. There are bodies like The Salt Commission and Tariff Commission. These need to be abolished," the official said.
According to the recommendations, Children's Film Society, Directorate of Film Festivals, Film Division of India, National Film Archive of India and National Film Development Corporation, should be merged to create efficiency of scale and end duplication.
The government is also planning to shut down almost a dozen autonomous bodies to rationalise costs. Some of the autonomous bodies that might be shut down are the National Productivity Council (NPC) and the Tariff Commission, among others, Moneycontrol had reported earlier.
The Union Textile Ministry in August abolished the All India Handicrafts Board and the All India Handloom Board — advisory bodies that were created to help the government in “formulation of the overall development programmes” in the handicrafts and handloom sectors, “keeping in view socio-economic cultural and artistic perspective.”
This was followed up with abolishing another advisory body - the Cotton Advisory Board. The government also notified that all eight Textiles Research Associations have ceased to be ''affiliated bodies'' of the ministry.
Two public sector undertakings under the ministry of textile — the British India Corporation and the Handicrafts and Handlooms Exports Corporation of India — have been reportedly proposed to be shut down, and a Cabinet note for the same has been circulated.