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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

'Sangat darshan programmes anti-development'

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   Patiala, August 17, 2013
First Published: 23:44 IST(17/8/2013) | Last Updated: 23:45 IST(17/8/2013)

Economists across universities have come out in opposition to the sangat darshan programmes as chalked out by the present SAD-BJP regime, calling them anti-development and even anti-religious.

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Some have even claimed that the programme had turned into a tool to maintain its vote bank and such tends would revive a 'feudal kingdom'.

Lakhwinder Singh Gill, professor of economics and Centre for Development Economics and Innovative Studies (CDEIS) at Punjabi University, told HT that distributing funds under the programmes were irrational and carried forward the message of scattered development.

Early last year, a CDEIS publication,  'Rejuvenation of Punjab Economy', 22 economists from different universities had reportedly called for an end to such programmes.

"There is no planning to the allocation of funds. Accountability and equity are undermined."

"It is very important to develop a system. We should go for identification of problems and issues on the whole, rather than develop dysfunctional institutions."

Economists have also called for a revamp of the state planning board besides to establish a decentralised system of transferring resources and powers from the state to Panchayati Raj Institutions.
 
"The government should include top economists on state planning board to draw development fiscal policy apart from vesting powers to institutions under panchayati raj," said Kesar Singh Bhangu, another economist.

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