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Modi to meet CMs on reshaping Planning Commission

Modi to meet CMs on reshaping Planning Commission

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet chief ministers of all states Sunday to hear their views on the restructuring of the Planning Commission.

"Detailed consultations have been held with experts and economists and within the Planning Commission itself on its restructuring," Modi had said Friday in his first intervention during question hour in the Lok Sabha.

“We are just taking forward this process of giving shape to a new body,” he added.

The prime minister made his intervention on a question listed by Vincent H. Pala (Congress) and Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress), both of whom were absent as they had boycotted proceedings over the continuation of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in the union council of ministers.

Indeed, it was the first time since his maiden Independence Day address to the nation that Modi has spoken on the need to reshape the Planning Commission.

Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said last week that the commission will continue to perform its mandate till a new organisation replaces it.

Earlier, Modi had said in his Independence Day address that times had changed since the Planning Commission was created and a new institution would be set up "in a short span of time."

The prime minister had also invited ideas from the people on how to replace the 64-year-old institution with a body that can best serve India's governance needs in the 21st century.

Being a former chief minister who had to himself knock on the doors of the commission for money, Modi said the importance of federalism in India was increasing and institutions must address this reality.

The commission was set up to deliver on the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution, which calls for people's welfare by securing and protecting a social order with justice and equity.

Formed by a resolution of the Government of India March 15, 1950, the commission started presenting the Five Year Plans from 1951 -- disrupted a few times by the India-Pakistan war.

Currently, the panel is overseeing the 12th such plan, 2012-17.

Meanwhile, several states have complained that the plan panel, which more or less approves their annual plans, misuses its discretionary powers, even taking biased politically motivated decisions.

The panel's redundancy was also the conclusion of the Independent Evaluation Office set up by the commission itself under Ajay Chibber, a Stanford-educated former assistant secretary general of the United Nations.

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