Civil society organisations criticised the Planning Commission for its “over-reliance” on the PPP (public-private partnership) model in its Approach Paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

“If PPPs result in further privatisation of, say, health facilities, it will adversely affect women and the poor,” they said at a two-day symposium held here last week-end to give their inputs on the Plan Panel document.

Representing dalits, women, children and the disabled, the members also felt that the Approach Paper lacked a regulatory framework to ensure equity.

“The approach seems to be more about employing market efficiency rather than equity and empowerment,” said Ms Annie Armala , who works in the field of education.

A document titled, “Equity Unaddressed,” with inputs from 850 organisations, sought cheaper credit for the poor, gender planning, effective implementation of labour laws, especially for children, dalits, adivasis, etc, and an enabling and inclusive educational environment.

There was also a demand for sex-aggregated data of poverty line, landless and farm workers.

Addressing the gathering, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said, “We see growth as one of the aspects of the 12th Plan and affirm the need for social inclusion, which is a multi-dimensional concept.”

The symposium was also attended by members Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, Dr Syeda Hameed, Prof Abhijit Sen, Mr Arun Maira and Mr Pronab Sen.

Appreciating the Planning Commission for its transparency and accessibility, Mr Amitabh Behar of Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, which organised the symposium, said the Plan document “fell short” of “expectations,” and called for a paradigm shift in the planning process during the making of the13th Plan.