Experts, economists and former Planning Commission members on Tuesday met to discuss a possible alternative to the 64-year-old Plan panel which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to dismantle.
At a closed door meeting held in the Yojana Bhavan to give shape to Modi’s Independence Day announcement, various suggestions arose from each quarter ranging from giving statutory status to the new body to treating it as a thinktank to help the government formulate policy.
Although the outcome of the meeting held in two groups was not divulged to the media, sources attending them said that the major issue about the fate of the 12th Five Year Plan was not discussed.
“The discussion focussed entirely on how the new body should look like and what its role should be in the changed environment,” a participant told Deccan Herald. He said there was no post mortem of the Planning Commission at all.
“Since the Prime Minister has indicated that we should move on, we decided not to discuss the old body,” he said.
Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, who chaired the meeting of one of the groups, said that the suggestions from different experts have been noted, which would be compiled and send to the Prime Minister. He said the final decision on the new body will rest with Modi.
Sinha said it has been a longstanding need to reinvent the Planning Commission and the Prime Minister has taken a bold step. To a question on how plan allocation to the states will be carried out, Kumar said it may be done through the Finance Commission.
The meeting took place in two different groups simultaneously: the one headed by Yashwant Sinha had previous members of the Planning Commission in it, while the second group comprised economists, including Rajiv Kumar and Pronab Sen.
Those present at the meeting chaired by Sinha included former RBI governor Bimal Jalan, ex-finance secretary Vijay Kelkar, ex-Planning Commission members Saumitra Chaudhuri and Y K Alagh, and BJP member N K Singh.