Planning Commission: Chandy opposes wholesale change, says fed structure undermined

Sunday, Dec 7, 2014,21:27 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The central government’s arbitrary decision to dismantle the Planning Commission without convening a meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) or consulting the states undermines the federal structure, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today. He said the Centre’s proposal to replace Planning Commission with a new body is half baked, unwarranted and ignores the need of planned development of the country.
It was unfortunate on the part of the central government to unilaterally do away with the Planning Commission that came into being in 1950, which had been playing a pivotal role in the development of the country, Chandy said at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Ministers to discuss the structure of the new body which would replace the Planning Commission. He noted that the Planning Commission has been quite instrumental in ensuring social equality, promotion of decentralised planning and in the monitoring of human development, especially that of the socially and economically backward segments in the country’s population.
The proposed move to distribute the planning functions amongst the Ministry of Finance and subject matter ministries will result in loss of perspective and of longterm view, the senior Congress leader said. The Chief Minister, who heads a Congressled government, said doing away with the Planning Commission is likely to have an adverse effect on key areas like monitoring of human development in the states, Scheduled Castes SubPlan and Tribal SubPlan, facilitating and mainstreaming social sector reform and promotion of decentralized planning.
I also believe that, on occasions, the Planning Commission has been unfairly criticised for its failure to achieve targets in some areas. The truth is that there have been huge deviations from the Plan from time to time and failures in implementation. I am not convinced that the wholesale change of a timetested institution is required, particularly so, when we have not progressed even now beyond the conceptual stage of designing an alternative mechanism, he said.