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State Plan panel to appoint expert groups

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 16:57 IST

STATE GOVERNMENT will constitute five experts’ groups next month to prepare status report on diverse fields for effective implementation of Eleventh Five Year Plan beginning from April 1, 2007.

According to State Planning Board Vice-Chairman Dr Som Pal Shastri, the groups will be constituted by September 15. They will submit the report by December and their recommendations would be enforced after deliberations from next financial year.

First group would deal with agriculture, forestry and rural development; the second with urbanisation, third with infrastructure, fourth - governance issues and fifth would be for resource and perspective planning. Each group would have subject experts who would prepare a blueprint for future projections based on resources available and projects undertaken so far.

The Planning Board has recommended a comprehensive land management policy that includes judicious use of agriculture, horticulture and urban land. It has also made recommendations on mass urbanisation and creation of counter magnet cities like Gurgaon and similar ones that have come up in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

The recommendations of the experts’ groups and the comprehensive plan submitted by the Board would be incorporated to prepare a common blueprint.

Among other factors, Eleventh Year Plan will lay stress on partnerships between civil society organisations and Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), and will also call for involving civil society organisations in the implementation and evaluation of Plan programmes.

While a number of civil society organisations have done admirable work in helping PRIs and in raising the level of consciousness of the people regarding Plan programmes and their rights, State Planning Board feels one cannot ignore the fact that civil society organisations are of various kinds. Many are funded by foreign governments and agencies and carry over into their work the concerns, the outlook and the predilections of their donor agencies.

“There is need to keep guard on this factor and this would be taken care of for Plan implementation,” a Planning, Economics and Statistics Department official said.

Another emphasis would be on promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure projects. The justification for favouring PPPs over public investments is given in terms of scarcity of public resources. Planning Commission in its Approach Paper, which is a prelude to Eleventh Five Year Plan, has argued that PPPs improve efficiency in the provision of services to users and also enable governments to transfer construction and commercial risks to the private sector.

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