In an unprecedented move, the Planning Commission is set to approve annual plan for Chhattisgarh without participation of the state government.
State Chief Minister Raman Singh had decided that none of the officials would attend the meeting at the plan panel after the commission nominated Binayak Sen conviction of sedition by a Chhattisgarh court in a committee to frame national rural health policy.
“None of the officials will attend the plan panel meetings till Sen is removed from the committee,” Singh had said in a letter to plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The plan in its internal meeting rejected the demand saying there is no rule which debars Sen’s nomination in a government committee. Sen attended the committee meetings and told HT: “I want to contribute positively from my experience in rural health.”
But, the stalemate had caught the plan panel in a peculiar position because it has to disburse plan funds to every state in consultation with the state governments.
The process was initiated for Chhattisgarh as well. “We had invited the state chief secretary for initial discussions on the fund requirement of the state,” a senior plan panel official said. As expected there was no response from the state government.
The commission has started preparing annual plan for the state. “We will provide another chance to the state government officials to participate,” the official said. But, if the state government still refuses, the official said, the panel will have no choice but to decide the annual allocation without inputs from the state government.
The panel had allocated Rs 13,230 crore for the financial year 2010-11, which was an increase of about 20 % as against normal allocation increase of 10 % for other states. The hike was primarily to meet the state government’s requirement for carrying out developmental works in naxal affected districts.
The plan panel decides annual allocation of funds to the states in consultation with the state government officials and formal announcement is usually made in presence of the respective state chief ministers.
“The state government inputs are important to prioritise sectors for development…we sitting in Delhi cannot evaluate the needs at the ground,” the official said. This year, Chhattisgarh may miss this opportunity.