Govt to asks states on plan panel alternative

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday assured states that they would be taken on board before a final shape was given to an institution that replaces the Planning Commission.

Allaying fears of Congress-ruled states that dismantling of the commission would amount to inferring in federal structure given the fact that fund allocation to them happens through plan panel, Jaitley told reporters a decision had already been taken by the government to relegate it in history but they would be “consulted” ahead of finding a new avatar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to have a 21st century institution replace the Planning Commission that had become parking place for retired bureaucrats and experts on the right side of the government of the day. “We will very soon set up a new institution in place of the Planning Commission... We need an institution of creative thinking and for optimum utilisation of youth capability,” Modi had declared on Independence Day.

Apart from Opposition-ruled states expressing their apprehension, the Congress here had engaged the NDA in credit snatching debate, pointing out that the move to confine commission to history was not a brain child of Modi as was being projected but on the directions the then prime minister Manmohan Singh a report was prepared by the then deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

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