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Plan panel fails to finalise package

The Planning Commission on Tuesday failed to finalise the development package for Naxal-affected areas following opposition to a draft presented by the bureaucrats.

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2010 00:07 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The Planning Commission on Tuesday failed to finalise the development package for Naxal-affected areas following opposition to a draft presented by the bureaucrats.

This came a day before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discusses the issue with chief ministers of the seven affected states.

Plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who said funds for the Naxal areas would not be a problem, briefed the Prime Minister on the issues raised by the members. “The plan will have lot to do with governance,” Ahluwalia said after the meeting.

Three plan panel members — Abhijit Sen, Mihir Shah and Narendra Jhadav — presented their own papers on what the action plan should be. They described the Rs 13,300-draft plan as a “bureaucratic exercise” which did not consider the views of the people living in such areas.

“There was no consensus on what message the action plan should deliver,” said a member who participated in all the meetings. “We cannot put a stamp on an action plan based on failed project delivery systems. People are nowhere in the plan presented to us a week ago.”

All three sought amendments to Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled) Areas (PESA) Act and Forest Rights Act to make them effective.

“Even 14 years after notification of PESA, it has not been implemented in most states. Law needs to change to make it effective,” another member said.

The action plan will have separate components for roads, health, education and skill development sectors whereas some money could also be provided for capacity building of the gram sabhas and panchayati raj bodies for “participatory governance”, Shah said.

Ahluwalia said the final amount of the action plan had not been decided but did not rule out the first instalment coming in the supplementary demands of the budget. “We will submit a cabinet proposal soon,” he said.