Taking first major steps to scrap the Planning Commission, the government would be posting about 60% of the panel employees in different ministries and the Independent Evaluation Office that suo-motto recommended scrapping of the Planning Commission would be wounded up.
IEO’s director general Ajay Chibber was sacked last Friday and the remaining staff in the organisation will have to go back to their parent departments, sources said, adding that the few consultants hired would be provided an option to work with different departments.
The evaluation office was an attached office of the panel and was set up in October 2013. However, its recommendation to scrap the panel had not gone down well with the panel officials who termed it breach of its terms of reference. The panel also told the Prime Minister’s Office which okayed Chibber’s sacking that there was already a project evaluation wing in the commission called Project Evaluation Office (PEO) and therefore the IEO was not required.
The government sources said that another important attached office of the panel the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is likely to be brought under the administrative control of the Information Technology ministry headed by Ravi Shankar Prasad once the panel is fully dismantled. However, the PMO would monitor Aadhaar enrollment and its other functions.
Similarly, the Rainfed Authority would report to the agriculture ministry and Institute of Applied Manpower Research to the Labour Ministry. “The idea is that these bodies should be under domain ministries,” a source said.
The government has found a solution to the biggest hurdle in dismantling the panel --- its 1,000 employees. Over 60% of them would be posted in different departments and remaining would work under the proposed multi-member think tank whose final shape is yet to be decided.
Official sources said that those in the state plan and proposal appraisal divisions would report to the Expenditure Department of the Finance
Ministry, which has been given the job to allocate funds to the state governments. Those dealing with ministries would be posted with these ministries.
“Some of the remaining domain experts and old hands in the commission would work with the new think tank,” a senior government functionary said, adding that a Cabinet note for the same has been circulated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced scrapping of the Planning Commission in his Independence Day speech and had sought people’s suggestions on the framework of the new body.