PERSPECTIVE PLANNING AND THE NEW PLANNING COMMISSION
In a federal system comprising States and a Central Government with numerous ministries and departments administering specific subjects, it is necessary to have an expert body to (i) independently evaluate competing claims; (ii) mediate between the Central and State Governments and between the Ministry of Finance and the various departments regarding allocation of funds; (iii) monitor the utilisation of funds; and (iv) assess and evaluate the gap between expenditure and outcomes. The Planning Commission performed these functions besides other functions. The BJP Government’s decision to abolish the Planning Commission was thoughtless and absurd.
- Congress will scrap the Niti Aayog, which has proved to be a noisy and incompetent intermeddler. Congress promises to constitute a Planning Commission with re-defined responsibilities such as to formulate medium and long-term perspective plans and to function as an independent expert body to perform crucial functions in a federal system.
- Congress promises that the new Planning Commission will be a lean organisation with renowned economists and financial experts as members assisted by a small but high-quality team of scholars from different fields and support staff totalling a maximum of 100 persons.