Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is the “Super Minister” in the new Cabinet, controlling 86 departments or institutions under the three Ministries he commands, according to a gazette allocating functions to Ministers issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday.
The former President essentially kept the Ministries he held as Head of State in his administration, that of Finance, Buddha Sasana and Religious affairs and has added Urban Development and Housing in his new avatar.
The Finance Ministry has 86 departments or institutions, Buddha Sasana and Culture 23 and Urban Development 17.
The President who appears to have kept the Defense portfolio has 31 departments or institutions and the third Rajapaksa brother Chamal who is in charge of Mahaweli, Agriculture and Trade has 37 bodies.
Former Speaker Chamal is also the non-Cabinet State Minister for Defense.
This is in keeping with the former Rajapaksa administrations where Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa controlled the bulk of the economy through their Ministries.
Among other large portfolios are Pavithra Waniaarachchi’s which has Women’s and Child Affairs, Social Security and Health and Indigenous Medicine. This cluster has 42 institutions that range from very small bodies to the country’s massive National Healthcare network.