The Plan panel today said that the ambit of development scheme - Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for Naxal-hit districts would be widened to include even backward districts which are not in the grip of Naxalism.
"We are really thinking of IAP for poor and backward districts which includes 35 naxal districts. Don't think it makes sense to have 'Integrated Action Plan' only for Naxal-hit districts. The action plan would have 60 to 65 districts including 35 Left wing extremism (LWE) districts," Plan Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said in New Delhi.
A committee under the Member Secretary of the Commission, Sudha Pillai, would be set up for formulation of the action plan for such districts, he said, addressing a conference on forestry administration in LWE areas.
The Planning Commission recently gave its nod to the Rs 13,742-crore package for developing the Naxal-hit districts and the proposal has been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Besides aiming to improve governance in the Naxal-infested districts, the special package would also focus on infrastructure development like drinking water supply, electricity, roads and health services in these areas.
As per the initial proposal which came from the Cabinet Committee on Security to the Commission for vetting, as many as 35 districts were to be covered under the IAP. But during deliberations on the plan, some members suggested to increase the number of districts to 60.
Those who are for more coverage argue that the problem is not with funds but improvement in governance which is the key for capacity-building, without which the allocated money will not be absorbed properly.
The other view was that with the increase in the number of districts under the action plan, the amount of fund allocation for each district would come down.