Major changes in the New Council of Ministers

The Modi government has made many important changes to the ministers’ portfolios, some of which may have gone unnoticed


The Narendra Modi government announced the induction of 21 new ministers to the council of ministers on Sunday. However, apart from these inductions, Modi has made extensive changes to the portfolios of existing ministers too, which may have gone unnoticed. While the major changes such as the induction of Manohar Parrikar as the Minister of Defence and Suresh Prabhu as the Railway Minister have caught the headlines, another major change was Arun Jaitley getting additional charge of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) apart from Finance and Corporate Affairs. I&B was earlier held by Prakash Jawadekar. Former Army Chief Minister of State Gen. VK Singh has been moved from Northeast Development to Statistics and Programme Implementation and continues with his earlier portfolio of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs. Nirmala Sitharaman has been divested of her Minister of State position of finance and also corporate affairs. Jayant Sinha, son of former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha comes in as Minister of State for Finance.



Here is the full list of the latest council of ministers…




1. Rajnath Singh: Home Affairs


2. Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs


3. Arun Jaitley: Finance, Corporate Affairs, Information & Broadcasting


4. M Venkaiah Naidu: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs


5. Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Road Transport and Highways, Shipping


6. Manohar Parrikar: Defence


7. Suresh Prabhu: Railways


8. DV Sadananda Gowda: Law & Justice


9. Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation


10. Dr Najma A Heptulla: Minority Affairs


11. Ramvilas Paswan: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution


12. Kalraj Mishra: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises


13. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women and Child Development


14. Ananthkumar: Chemicals and Fertilizers


15. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Communications and Information Technology


16. Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare


17. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati: Civil Aviation


18. Anant Geete: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises


19. Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries


20. Narendra Singh Tomar: Mines, Steel


21. Chaudhary Birender Singh: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation


22. Jual Oram: Tribal Affairs


23. Radha Mohan Singh: Agriculture


24. Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Social Justice and Empowerment


25. Smriti Zubin Irani: Human Resource Development


26. Dr Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences




27. Gen VK Singh: Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs


28. Inderjit Singh Rao: Planning (Independent Charge), Defence


29. Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Textiles (Independent Charge)


30. Bandaru Dattatreya: Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)


31. Rajiv Pratap Rudy: Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs


32. Shripad Yesso Naik: AAYUSH (Independent Charge), Health & Family Welfare


33. Dharmendra Pradhan: Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)


34. Sarbananda Sonowal: Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)


35. Prakash Javadekar: Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)


36. Piyush Goyal: Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)


37. Dr Jitendra Singh: Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space


38. Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)


39. Dr Mahesh Sharma: Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation


40. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs


41. Ram Kripal Yadav: Drinking Water & Sanitation


42. Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: Home Affairs


43. Sanwar Lal Jat: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation


44. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya: Agriculture


45. Giriraj Singh: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises


46. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir: Chemicals & Fertilizers


47. GM Siddeshwara: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises


48. Manoj Sinha: Railways


49. Nihalchand: Panchayati Raj


50. Upendra Kushwaha: Human Resource Development


51. Radhakrishnan P.: Road Transport & Highways, Shipping


52. Kiren Rijiju: Home Affairs


53. Krishan Pal: Social Justice & Empowerment


54. Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Agriculture


55. Manuskhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava: Tribal Affairs


56. Raosaheb Dadarao Danve: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution


57. Vishnu Deo Sai: Mines, Steel


58. Sudarshan Bhagat: Rural Development


59. Prof (Dr) Ram Shankar Katheria: Human Resource Development


60. YS Chowdary: Science and Technology, Earth Science


61. Jayant Sinha: Finance


62. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: Information & Broadcasting


63. Babul Supria (Babul Supriyo) Baral: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation


64. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries


65. Vijay Sampla: Social Justice & Empowerment


Nifty, Sensex to move sideways – Weekly closing report

Nifty has to strongly rally above 8365 for the rally to continue


The S&P BSE Sensex closed the week that ended on 7th November at 27,869 (up 3 points or 0.01%), while the NSE's CNX Nifty ended at 8,337 (up 15 points or 0.18%). Last week, we had mentioned that although the indices have made an all-time high it will continue to drift higher.

In line with our anticipation, on Monday the gap up opening of the Nifty was followed by the index hitting a new life time high. This was followed by the benchmark moving lower but trying to regain strength to move in the green. Ultimately the day ended with the benchmark closing flat. Nifty closed at 8,324 (up 2 points or 0.02%).

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently said that he foresees India’s GDP growth in the range of 5.5% to 5.9% for 2014-15.

Adjusted for seasonal influences, HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for October 2014 rebounded from September's nine-month low of 51 to 51.6 in October. Manufacturing activity picked up modestly amid stronger output and new order flows, particularly from overseas clients. However, firms continued to trim purchases and refrained from aggressive inventory accumulation, according to the survey. Indian stock markets were closed on Tuesday for Muharram.

On Wednesday the Nifty opened higher and managed making a new life time high for the fourth consecutive session, despite a decline during the mid-session (11.25am to 1.20pm). Nifty closed at 8,338 (up 14 points or 0.17%). Adjusted for seasonal factors, the headline HSBC India Services PMI Business Activity Index fell to 50 in October, from 51.6 in September. Despite rising for the sixth consecutive month, new work intakes in the Indian service sector increased at the weakest pace since May during October.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at World Economic Forum in New Delhi said that India is open to privatisation of certain loss-making public sector companies. He also said the government will soon unveil reforms for other natural resources sectors along the lines of coal block auctions. The government intends to open railways further to private investment, review tough land purchase rules and relax labour laws, Jaitley said, but insisted the government needed to build support for some of the measures.

The market remained closed on Thursday for Guru Nanak Jayanti.

On Friday, Nifty closed flat in line with what we had mentioned in our Wednesday closing report. Nifty closed at 8,337 (down 1 points or 0.02%). Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently mentioned that focus should be on strict monitoring of projects based on monthly completion targets for road, railway, shipping and civil aviation projects.

Market now looks ahead for the reshuffle of the cabinet that could take place on Sunday.

Among the Nifty stocks, the top five gainers for the week were Zee Entertainment (8%); DLF (8%); Dr. Reddy's Lab (7%); Axis Bank (7%) and Sun Pharma (6%) while the top five losers were Gail (8%); NMDC (8%); Coal India (7%); Hero MotoCorp (6%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (5%).

Of the 1,502 companies on the NSE, 896 companies closed in the green, 561 companies closed in the red while 45 companies closed flat.

Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:


ML Top sector


ML Worst sector


Real Estate










Non-Ferrous Metals




Lifestyle & Leisure


Auto Components






Understanding Wills and Nominations to avoid hassles

Vimal Punmiya, who spoke to a packed audience at a Moneylife Foundation seminar, explained the processes, rules, laws and need for making Wills that would help avoid confusion and litigation among inheritors


“I had a client, who used to live with each of his four sons for three months in a year. In addition, every time, each son would make him prepare a new Will. He ended up with about 32 Wills in 10 years. However, you can avoid all these hassles if you know the processes, rules, laws and need for making Wills,” says Vimal Punmiya, chartered accountant and Proprietor of Vimal Punmiya & Co.


Speaking at Moneylife Foundation organized seminar on “Understanding Wills and Nominations”, Mr Punmiya said, "Looking at how complicated and bureaucratic it is to deal with the legal and government machinery, it is better to have a clear Will to make it easy for those who come after you."


“At least after 50, one must make a Will. Making a Will has obvious benefits, but in my experience, it also gives psychological ease of mind. Any Wills and planning to reduce tax is OK but evasion is not. This is important to remember while making Will as per the recent judgement from the Supreme Court,” he added.


As always, the seminar drew a great crowd and more so, because of the speaker who conducted the seminar. Moneylife Foundation invited Mr Punmiya to speak to the audience and take their questions, and he graciously accepted.


To begin with, Mr Punmiya explained that with more and more nuclear families having increasing amounts of accumulated wealth and assets, Wills have become more and more important to people today. He took the audience through the basics, beginning with the laws that govern Wills. He explained how the law sees a Will and what exactly a Will means.


“If one does not make a Will, then his property will be inherited by legal heirs in accordance with the laws of inheritance applicable to him. However, most of the people would like to dispose of their property according to their own wishes. Thus, there arises the need for making one’s Will,” explained Mr Pumiya.


Many in the audience were eager to know what the implications of Wills executed abroad for their properties and assets held in India. Mr Pumiya addressed these issues and the question of Codicils came up. He clarified the terminologies of Wills and spoke about the different types of Wills. Having taken the audience through the intricacies of the types and procedures of Wills, he turned focus to the Nominations.


Often, Nominees become an important part of the whole story. He said that a nominee is like an executor, who is entrusted to manage the property or asset as per the nominator’s wishes after his death. However, a nominee cannot sell property unless he is a legal heir. Mr Punmiya also talked about the several procedures involved in transfer of property or other assets after the death of a nominator. In previous seminars, he had said, nominees are often required when special children are involved setting up a trust in the name of that child with a trusted executor is commendable.


Replying to a query, he said, "If you want the distribution to happen simply, that is possible. Or you can also make a will so that you can prevent sale of assets, which is also possible."


Mr Punmiya has been a Chartered Accountant for 39 years. He has written books on subjects like transfer of flats, stamp duty, registration, capital gains and has been a prominent speaker on topics of public interest like the Union Budget, I-T & Audit Provisions and Stamp Duty & Registration. He has held top-ranking posts at cultural organisations and is the recipient of prestigious awards from trade bodies and voluntary organisations.


Download a copy of the important points of Mr Punmiya's talk and FAQs about Wills created by Mr Punmiya himself, here.


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