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Government to revamp planning strategy to ‘end poverty, check hill migration’

The government is reorienting planning process to make it outcome based, for which officials’ accountability will also be fixed.

dehradun Updated: May 17, 2018 22:02 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news
In Uttarakhand’s hilly interiors, rural settlements are fast turning into ghost villages with people migrating to the plains in search of employment and for education.(AFP File Photo)

In a bid to pave the way “for sustainable development in Uttarakhand to end poverty and check forced migration” from the hills, the state government is reorienting its entire planning process to make it outcome based, for which officials’ accountability will also be fixed.

“We are reorienting both our short and long term people-centric planning strategies to ensure outcome based sustainable development, for which officials will be accountable,” Manoj Pant, the chief coordination officer of the state Planning Commission said.

“The sustainable growth model that aims to end poverty will also help arrest distress migration from the hills and the rural-urban migration.”

The planning strategies are being revamped to ensure sustainable growth in keeping with a document released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “The outcome based sustainable growth strategies are being prepared by us in keeping with the mandate specified in the UNDP document to which the central government Centre is a signatory.

“The Niti Ayog is coordinating the entire process,” secretary (in-charge), planning, Ranjit Sinha said. He dubbed the new outcome based planning as a holistic approach towards resolving all key issues from poverty to unemployment to health and education. “This integrated approach will certainly help address the issue of distress migration from the hills,” Sinha said.

Giving details of the outcome based sustainable growth strategy Pant said that as part of the process three-pronged plans are being chalked out, which would help the state government realise 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Ending poverty and starvation and ensuring sustainable economic growth and livelihood, inclusive and equitable education are also part of those (17) crucial sustainable development goals,” he said.

To realise development under the SDGs they have been divided into four theme based sectors---Human Resource Sustainability, Livelihood, Social sustainability and Environmental Sustainability.

“Six working groups (comprising senior bureaucrats) which have been constituted by the government will prepare an elaborate road map each for SDGs under those four theme-based sectors”, Pant said. The sector of human resource sustainability, for instance, would cover the SDGs such as employment generation, health, empowerment, and education. The livelihood sector includes the SDGs like elimination of poverty and starvation, employment generation, urban development and sustainable economic growth. Under the third sector efforts will be made to improve health facility besides ensurig peace and justice and social and gender equality etc. The fourth sector----environmental sustainability will include the SDGs relating to the issues like forest conservation and the impact of climate change on the people.

“The sector wise system has been introduced for various reasons”, Pant said. First, sustainable development goals categorised under the four sectors are correlated, which helps in resource mobilisation. “For example, if a project pertaining to horticulture faces a severe fund crunch, it can be run by mobilising funds from some other scheme relating to the farm sector as both (sectors) are similar”, he said.

Second, there are other benefits of clusterization. “Supposing enough potable water is not available for a city or town owing to water levels going down in natural springs, rivers, or streams,” Pant said. “In that case, the water works department can always ask the forest department to get those springs and streams recharged on a sustainable basis by getting saplings planted on their catchments.”

But the “best part of the new UNDP recommended development planning is its being strictly outcome” based. “Supposing crores may have been spent in projects aiming to check maternal or infant mortality rates but their success will only be measured by whether they (projects) brought down the incidence of such untimely deaths.”

Pant said top officials heading the six working groups will finalise the outcome based planning at a two-day workshop that starts here on May 28. To be organsied by the UNDP the seminar will be held on `Sustainable Development---Integration, Monitoring Mechanism and Localising SDGs.’

First Published: May 17, 2018 22:02 IST