Major overhaul of Plan panel unlikely

PTI New Delhi | Updated on June 05, 2014 Published on June 05, 2014

The Government is unlikely to undertake any major overhaul of the role of Planning Commission and is expected to reconstitute the official thinktank.

“As happened in the past, it may take time for the Government to reconstitute the Commission. However, the body will be reconstituted and will play requisite role in firming up the Budget proposals for the next fiscal,” said a source in the Commission.

As for the current fiscal, sources said, the Commission will not play any major role in deciding Plan expenditure allocations for ministries and states.

The term of the Deputy Chairman and Members of the Commission is coterminous with that of the Prime Minister and all of them have resigned following the change of government last month after the general elections.

The appointment of Inderjit Singh Rao as Minister of State for Planning with independent charge has raised speculation that the government will restructure the Commission.

Sources said the Planning Commission will continue to play its conventional role of an interface between the Finance Ministry and the other ministries for working out Plan expenditure allocations.

In 2004, the Government had taken time to reconstitute the Commission and Montek Singh Ahluwalia took charge as Deputy Chairman just days before presentation of the final Budget for 2004—05.

The UPA came to power in May 2004 and presented the Budget on July 8. Ahluwalia officially took over on July 4.

As per the information available, the total Plan expenditure proposed by the UPA government was Rs 1,45,590 crore, slightly higher than Rs 1,35,071 crore provided in the interim budget for 2004-05 by previous NDA government.

Sources said that this time the Plan expenditure could be slightly higher than Rs 5,55,322 crore provided in the interim budget for the 2014—15 by previous government.

The UPA government had cut the total Plan expenditure to Rs 4,75,532 crore for 2013—14 compared to the budget estimates of the Rs 5,55,532 crore, for keeping a tab on the fiscal deficit.

Published on June 05, 2014

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