Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh govt. plans to merge planning and finance departments

The Andhra Pradesh government is contemplating merger of the Department of Planning with the Department of Finance. The file in this regard has been prepared recently. The process of integration of planning development with the Finance Department will be done in a phased manner if the Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy gives his nod to the proposal.

The government, reliable sources say, is toying with the idea to save time for decision making for different issues. The proposed merger will cut inordinate delays in developmental activities. The required concurrence of planning and finance will be under one head of both the departments, they say.

More so, the political head of both departments is Finance Minister. The Planning Department is also into resource mobilisation under the ‘Connect to A.P.’ initiative. The funds thus obtained will be utilised on the government’s flagship ‘Navaratnalu’ programme, under which cash will be doled out through various schemes to different sections of people every year. So, it would be much easier and smoother in implementation of the government programmes and schemes.

CM to take final call

“The file is under circulation. The Chief Minister is yet to take a decision,” sources say.

According to information, if the government’s plans fructify, the Directors, Joint Directors and etc of the Planning Department, working in various administrative departments of the government, would now report to the Finance Department. The Department of Planning is engaged with a host of activities including collection, compilation, tabulation and publication of the socio-economic data related to the State. Some of the functional areas of the department are preparation of socio-economic surveys, compilation of agricultural statistics, statistics of prices and wages, estimates of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and etc.

The merger plans come close on the heels of the recent fiasco of merging and demerging the Commercial Taxes (CT) and Registrations and Stamps Departments with the Finance Department. The government initially planned to bring the CT, and Stamps and Registration under one umbrella. Then, it said the merger was being done for synergy of resource mobilisation with the Finance Department. But, the move hit a roadblock, as both departments were headed by two different Ministers. The transfer of subjects was not easy as it had an impact on the portfolios of the two Deputy Chief Ministers looking after these subjects, sources say.

A G.O. was issued appointing Sameer Sarma as the Special Chief Secretary (Planning). But, it was removed from the public domain.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 7:18:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/andhra-pradesh-govt-plans-to-merge-planning-and-finance-departments/article35711437.ece

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