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In Addition To Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu Takes Charge Of Civil Aviation Ministry

News World India | 1
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| March 10 , 2018 , 16:24 IST

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu has been assigned additional charge of civil aviation ministry, Rashtrapati Bhawan confirmed. The sudden move came after the President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignation of Telugu Desam Party's Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

President Kovind confirmed the development through the tweet, "As advised by the Prime Minister, President Kovind has directed that Shri Suresh Prabhu, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned charge of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, in addition to his existing portfolio."

Suresh Prabhu was handling railway ministry until September 2017 but was later moved to the commerce ministry in a Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre, appointing Piyush Goel to take up his position. Various railway accidents during his tenure were highly criticised.

Many TDP leaders including MP YS Chowdary and Raju resigned from the council of ministers after Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu pulled out party ministers as Centre refused to grant the special category status to Andhra Pradesh and meet other demands of the state government.

The main focus of the government in aviation currently is to complete the divestment process of Air India and its subsidiaries before the next general election due in 2019. The other key areas include expanding the affordable regional flying scheme UDAN.

While airport infra development did not keep pace with the huge growth in air traffic in the last four years, the government is now pursuing second airports in Delhi and Mumbai apart from expanding existing airports and developing new ones in places like Goa.