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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Parekh, Sreedharan may be in plan panel substitute

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 18, 2014
First Published: 23:26 IST(18/8/2014) | Last Updated: 01:21 IST(19/8/2014)

The new avatar of the Planning Commission is likely to be a powerful body — packed with a technocrats, industrialists, state chief ministers and development experts — that will serve as the government’s primary policy advisory council.

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Shiv Sena leader and former power minister Suresh Prabhu is speculated to assume a key role in the new institution, which will likely be modelled on the lines of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi could head the new commission.

Modi on Friday announced that the government would replace the Planning Commission with a new body, bringing the curtains down on the 64-year-old institution founded on former Soviet Union’s command-style development model.

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh and former MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation E Sreedharan are names that are being considered for members of the new panel among others.

The name of the new body is yet to be decided. Ajay Chibber-headed Independent Evaluation Office’s had recommended that the Planning Commission should convert into a Reforms and Solutions Commission.

The National Development Council (NDC), which was set up in 1952 and acts as the apex body for all development matters could undergo a change.

In the new structure, the finance ministry will likely take the final call on annual gross budgetary support for various central schemes, as well as states’ annual plans, which till last year was decided by the Planning Commission.

The yet-to-be defined panel will likely have a similar structure compared to China’s NDRC, which is responsible for collecting, processing, and providing economic information to other government departments and enterprises.

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