The Planning Commission has decided to send a stern message to Chief Ministers, who choose to remain absent from meetings to finalise their states’ annual plan.
The Planning Commission refused to finalise Uttar Pradesh’s annual plan without the presence of state chief minister Mayawati and has postponed the meeting for the same slated for Tuesday.
Mayawati has not attended a single annual plan meeting in her three years of being Chief Minister. In her absence, chief secretaries had represented the state and the panel by member in-charge of the state B.K. Chaturvedi.
Chief ministers of almost all states attend the meetings called by panel’s deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the annual plans. In the last two months, CM of over 12 states has finalised annual plans with Ahluwalia.
This principle, of course, has not been applicable to Uttar Pradesh. This time, Ahluwalia is keen to finalise the annual plan for UP. The panel has already worked out a development plan for state poorest region, Bhundelkhand.
The UPA-2 is keen to fasten the pace of development in UP, from where 21 Congress MPs were elected in 2009 general elections. The Congress is looking at improving its performance in the assembly elections slated for 2013.
According to panel officials, the commission has indicated to the UP government that it would like presence of its CM for the meeting saying even veteran leaders such as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi have attended the meetings.
Officials also said that no new date has been fixed for the meeting as the panel was awaiting a response from the state government. The Central assistance to UP for 2010-11 is expected to be over Rs 20,000 crore.