New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reconstituted the federal policy think-tank National Institution of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog by introducing key Cabinet ministers as members as ex-officio members.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Home minister Amit Shah, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture minister Narendra Singh are now ex-officio members of the think tank that is headed by Modi, the government said in a statement.

The induction of union ministers as ex-officio members in the body, which has state chief ministers as members of the governing council is expected to forge better ties between central and state governments in deciding policy choices.

Besides, Road Transport and Highways and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) minister Nitin Gadkari, Social Justice and Empowerment minister Thawar Singh Gahlot, Railways and Commerce minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of Statistics and Programme implementation are four special invitees.

Rajiv Kumar will continue to be the vice-chairperson, along with full time members—Ramesh Chand, VK Saraswat and VK Paul.

NITI Aayog was constituted via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015, replacing the erstwhile planning commission.

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