Will Shastri do justice to vice-chairman?s post? | india | Hindustan Times
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Will Shastri do justice to vice-chairman?s post?

THE APPOINTMENT of Sompal Shastri as vice chairman of the State Planning Board has raised eyebrows in the bureaucracy as well as in the ruling party. Of course, no body is doubting the veteran economist?s competence. But they point out that Sompal is already holding too many important posts to do justice to the new assignment.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 15:09 IST

THE APPOINTMENT of Sompal Shastri as vice chairman of the State Planning Board has raised eyebrows in the bureaucracy as well as in the ruling party. Of course, no body is doubting the veteran economist’s competence. But they point out that Sompal is already holding too many important posts to do justice to the new assignment.

Shastri is at present member of the 12th Finance Commission, chairman of National Commission on Farmers since 2004 and also advisor to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The State Planning Board vice chairman’s post has been lying vacant since November last year after the demise of Bherulal Patidar. The late BJP leader worked hard to help the State adopt a direction for development. Since his death many BJP leaders had been eying the post.

Former finance minister Babulal Jain and former advisor of Asian Development Bank, Dr Sharad Jain were the strong contenders.

How the veteran economist and agriculturist will be able to do justice to his new assignment is the question doing the rounds in the corridors of power.

Significantly, after being appointed advisor to the Chief Minister, Shastri preferred to stay at New Delhi, using one room of the Madhya Pradesh guesthouse as his office.

There is scepticism in the bureaucratic circle about Sompal’s desire to manage so many important tasks of Madhya Pradesh sitting in Delhi.

The vice chairman plays an important role in finalising annual plans, reviewing performance of various departments, conducting regular meetings and also in implementing Government agenda.