Singapore, April 24 (IANS) Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced here on Tuesday the biggest Cabinet reshuffle affecting nearly all his 16 ministries in an effort to let the fourth-generation ministers shoulder more responsibilities.
The regrouping of the cabinet will come into force on May 1. Two thirds of the ministries will be headed by younger ministers except for transport, health, defence, home affairs and law, Xinhua news agency reported.
Of the three men who have the potential to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Chan Chun Sing will chair the Ministry of Trade and Industry while Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will be staying on in his existing role but will take over responsibility in National Research Foundation matters as well.
In the Education Ministry, 48-year-old Ong Ye Kung, who is in charge of higher education and skills, will now be ascended to take charge of the whole ministry. He will relinquish his appointment as Second Minister for Defence.
Three ministers who will be retiring were Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang,64; Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say, 63, and Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, 62.
They will be taken over respectively by current labour chief Chan Chun Sing, 48; Second Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, 49, and Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, 55.
Lee Hsien Loong said on his Facebook post that the younger ministers will progressively take over more responsibility for governing Singapore.
Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday requested Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up an airport in Odisha's industrial town Paradip.
In a letter, Pradhan sought the personal attention of Prabhu to examine the techno-economic feasibility for setting an airport at Paradip as soon as possible.
"The grand vision of development of Paradip would remain incomplete without an airport providing air connectivity, as the nearest Biju Patnaik International Airport at Bhubaneswar is 135 kms away and takes more than three hours by road," he said , adding that the Paradip Port Trust has already requested the Airport Authority of India to set up an airport there.
Paradip is one of the major ports in eastern India and last year became one of the three ports in India to have handled a total cargo of over 100 million tons.
The port is being further expanded and modernized and it is expected that by 2020 it would be able to handle 332 million tons of cargo per annum thereby making it the largest port in India, said Pradhan.
He said the Union government has declared Paradip Port as a Smart Port Industrial City, which is fast emerging as a major industrial hub in Odisha and Eastern India.
Besides having the port, Paradip already has an oil refinery of 15 MMTPA capacity, a 12 MMTPA pellet plant, two fertilizer plants together of 4 MMTPA capacity and a edible oil refinery, he said.
In addition, Pradhan said that his Ministry is implementing several big ticket industrial projects, including expansion of refinery to 21 MMTPA from 15 MMTPA, a 700 TMT Poly Propylene plant by 2018 and a 355 TMT Mono Ethyl Glycol unit by 2023-24 which will feed various downstream industries including plastics, paints, rubber and synthetic yarn industries, and all these initiatives "require seamless connectivity".