India's Modi to unveil top 10 policy priorities: aide

NEW DELHI Thu May 29, 2014 3:40am EDT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes out of a meeting room to receive his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes out of a meeting room to receive his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to unveil his top 10 policy priorities on Thursday, seeking to unblock an investment logjam and setting deadlines for action in order to revive the economy.

A top aide flagged the action points ahead of a cabinet meeting at which Modi will begin the task of meeting the aspirations of voters who handed his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the strongest electoral mandate in India in 30 years.

"The entire machinery will be geared up to fulfill the mandate of the new leader," Nripendra Misra, newly named as principal private secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, told The Hindu in an interview.

Misra said that Modi's policy priorities will "necessarily have to be implemented in a time-bound manner". They would focus on overcoming delays to major infrastructure projects and addressing why India has become a coal importer, he added.

Reuters reported exclusively last week that Modi was considering restructuring Coal India, the state-controlled mining behemoth, in a bid to halt a decline in output.

The Prime Minister's Office is expected to become a powerful center of policy making under Modi, who has named loyalists such as Arun Jaitley to key posts like finance but whose cabinet team lacks strength in depth.

Modi was due to chair a cabinet meeting at 11 a.m. (1.30 a.m. EDT), his office said, with a briefing to follow afterwards.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Nigam Prusty; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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