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Planners told to visit villages

Country’s top planners will now be visiting villages for a reality check on the various welfare schemes launched by the government. Chetan Chauhan reports.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2009 01:19 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Country’s top planners will now be visiting villages for a reality check on the various welfare schemes launched by the government.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Planning Commission to depute senior advisers for “ground check” on the efficacy of the Centre’s 15 flagship programmes and schemes from November.

About half of Rs 3,25,000 crore (Rs 3,250 billion) plan fund of the Centre for 2009-10 has been allocated for 15 major schemes like the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Rural Health Mission and food distribution for families below poverty line.

“It will be a fact-finding mission to ascertain the performance of these schemes at the ground level,” a senior plan panel official, who didn’t wish to be identified, said.

The decision to send plan panel advisers to villages was taken after a series of meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on strengthening monitoring mechanism for the Central government schemes.

The Planning Commission has estimated that close to 40 per cent of foodgrains under the Public Distribution System is pilfered. Quality of work under the Prime Minister’s Gramin Sadak Yojana has also come under scrutiny.

In a communiqué to all advisers, the plan panel said the Prime Minister had directed them to visit the states where the programmes had failed to give desired results.

The advisors have been asked to visit a state once every three or four months.

The preparatory work for the visits will start soon, with secretaries of key ministries like the rural development, urban development, water resources and minority affairs making presentation to the advisers on the problems being faced in implementation of the schemes.

Officials said the first visit of bureaucrats is expected to happen in first week of November.