Pranab snubs Montek over Rs 500 cr grant for IIT-KGP
Pranab Mukherjee’s finance ministry has overruled the Planning Commission’s rejection of a proposed R500 crore special grant to Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in the latest snub for an embattled plan panel.delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2010 23:16 IST
Pranab Mukherjee’s finance ministry has overruled the Planning Commission’s rejection of a proposed R500 crore special grant to Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in the latest snub for an embattled plan panel.
The finance ministry has asked the human resource development (HRD) ministry to formally submit a proposal for the grant, despite the Planning Commission rejecting the proposal outright, top government sources told HT.
“It is an uncommon situation for the finance ministry to give its in-principle nod for such large plans when the Planning Commission has objected,” a source said.
Snubs and differences with other government arms, however, have not been uncommon for the plan panel and its deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in recent weeks.
Roads and Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath had some weeks ago dubbed the Planning Commission a group of “armchair” analysts and slammed them for stalling projects. Nath had made the comments at a public forum with Ahluwalia seated on the dais.
In recent weeks, the Planning Commission has also faced fire from several other central ministries for allegedly blocking projects.
The panel under Ahluwalia had cited shortage of funds to award the special grant sought by IIT Kharagpur to celebrate its diamond jubilee in 2011 by building new infrastructure and introducing new facilities for teachers and students.
The grant is critical to the IIT’s vision of upgrading facilities to enable it to compete with the best engineering schools across the globe, sources said.