Modi still has some use for Plan panel

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:25 pm IST

Published - August 21, 2014 02:08 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The office of the DeputyChairman of the Planning Commission appearsready for a new occupant. However, with PrimeMinister Narendra Modi announcing that thePlanning Commission will be replaced by a newinstitution, Montek Singh Ahluwalia could be thelast one to hold the office of Deputy Chairman. Photo: V. Sudershan

The office of the DeputyChairman of the Planning Commission appearsready for a new occupant. However, with PrimeMinister Narendra Modi announcing that thePlanning Commission will be replaced by a newinstitution, Montek Singh Ahluwalia could be thelast one to hold the office of Deputy Chairman. Photo: V. Sudershan

Even after sounding the death knell of the Planning Commission from Red Fort on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to seek inputs from Yojana Bhawan on infrastructure, energy, rural development and other policy questions.

In fact, barring the deserted first floor that housed the plan panel’s members and deputy chairman, it’s mostly business as usual at this iconic institution of the Nehruvian India on Parliament Street.

Key formulator

Yojana Bhawan remains the key formulator of the Andhra Pradesh — Telangana bifurcation process. It is also drawing up the blueprint of the Clean India Campaign that the Prime Minister announced in his Independence Day speech.

The Commission’s eight members and deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia resigned at the end of the term of the UPA Government but the PMO coordinates mainly with its Secretary Sindhushree Khullar and Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh.

Its 500-member staff comprising permanent direct recruits and those on deputation from organised services such as the Indian Administrative Services and the Indian Economic Services, continues to give inputs to various Ministries and evaluate and appraise projects and schemes as per the ongoing annual plans of the state and the 12th Five Year Plan.

The role they play in the Expenditure Finance Committees that approve allocations to proposals from Ministries remains undiminished. They continue to participate in meetings of these committees held routinely at the Finance Ministry.

The PMO has been routinely seeking inputs from the 30-odd advisers and senior advisers at the plan panel — its sectoral domain experts — for the various review meetings Mr. Modi takes, such as his monthly round-up with secretaries of infrastructure Ministries.

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