Planning Commission asks States to give details of schemes

CHENNAI, JUNE 16. As the consultative process for the drawing-up of the Tenth Five- Year Plan (2002-07) is underway, the Union Planning Commission is likely to insist that States dovetail their evaluation of all schemes into their respective plan documents.

``This is the thinking now'', official sources told The Hindu here. The idea behind the move was to ensure ``greater transparency and accountability'' in the planning stage itself, they explained.

Hitherto, in making projections of resource requirements, States hardly went beyond minimalist pronouncements on the performance front, when the outlay for the five-year and annual plans were finalised in consultation with the Planning body.

But now, the Commission wanted evaluation to be made an ``essential component of the plan schemes'', that will give an idea of ``what is happening to the money spent''.

In structuring the plan documents so far, the broad contours would list the sector-wise shortcomings and the new strategies required to rectify them.

That approach was changing as the Planning Commission wanted more details such as how merit and non-merit subsidies actually benefitted the targetted population.

To know the viability of the ongoing schemes and the efficiency with which they had been implemented, the Planning Commission was also thinking of making the evaluation exercise at the State- level parallel to the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) audit.

Such data would help the planners decide whether a particular scheme should be continued in the next Plan or not.

It was possible to make the evaluation concurrent with the CAG's audit with the increasing computerisation, sources said.