Millennium Post

‘Plan panel to be reshaped in tune with changing times,’ explains PM Modi

‘Plan panel to be reshaped in tune with changing times,’ explains PM Modi
Making a brief intervention during Question Hour in Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister said government was planning to involve knowledgeable people and those who can provide new ideas to redefine and restructure the Planning Commission.

"I have convened a meeting of chief ministers on 7 December. We will have a detailed discussions with them. In the Planning Commission also there had been discussions earlier on how to bring it in tune with the changing times. Taking all these aspects into consideration, plans are afoot towards a new shape (of the plan panel)," he said.

Earlier, Minister for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh informed the House that planning is very much relevant in India and the Planning Commission has to come to grip with emerging social realities to reinvent itself to make itself more relevant and effective for aligning the planning process with economic reforms and its consequences, particularly for the poor.

Singh said government is seized of the desirability of a constant review of its planning apparatus as the role of the states as well as the state economy, both have been undergoing changes over the last few decades.

"India is now an emerging economy in an increasingly globalised world. The economy has now fundamentally changed with key sectors being open to foreign investment, the evolution of a vibrant dynamic private sector contributing substantially to growth," he said. The minister said the state has now moved away from allocating government resources in a command and control ecosystem to a more complex role — that of mediating through policy action, favourable conditions for private investment, providing public goods and essential services and most importantly, directly intervening in areas traditionally neglected by markets, that is, social security and essential entitlements of food, health and education and livelihoods to the vulnerable and marginalised groups.

Singh said states have now emerged as economic growth engines and are equal partners in national development and hence, need has been felt to foster the spirit of cooperative federalism in India for which desired change in the institution for economic planning required.

He said government has sought suggestions on different fora and is also having extensive consultations on it.

A large number of suggestions on a new institution, including its suggested names, have been received which may be seen on the web portal of MyGov.nic.in, he said. Government has also held consultations with eminent persons including some of the former members of the Planning Commission on 26 August, 2014, he said. The minister said these suggestions include ensuring that the new institution becomes an institution for facilitating effective interaction between the Centre and states in economic sphere, emerges as a think tank which undertakes long term planning on critical issues being faced by the economy and an institution for monitoring and evaluation of important government programmes.

The Planning Commission was constituted through a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 15 March, 1950. The government has decided to replace this resolution with a new one. Currently, the process of seeking inputs and suggestions through consultation is in progress, he added.

Singh also said it has been decided to restructure the Planning Commission since the benefits of social sector schemes were not implemented by it in the desired way. To a query related to Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) at the Commission, Singh said that its office is expected to have full functional autonomy.
PTI

PTI

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