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Niti Commission likely to be new plan panel

PM Modi has called a meeting of all CMs and chief secretaries on December 7 to discuss the framework of the proposed Policy Commission — a new body that could replace the scrapped planning commission.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2014 08:59 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
Niti Commission,Planning Commission,BJP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of all chief ministers and chief secretaries on December 7 to discuss the framework of the proposed Policy Commission (Niti Aayog) — a new body that could replace the scrapped planning commission.

Besides the policy panel, new mechanisms to improve Centre-state coordination for effective utilisation of central funds — worth Rs 3,00,000 crore in 2014-15 — will also be discussed. This is Modi’s first meeting with all the CMs.

At the core of these talks will be the use of unique identification number or Aadhaar, which will be handled by the new body, for “outcome”-based programme implementation, senior government sources told HT.

This is said to be the logic behind the proposal to put both the Unique Identification Authority of India, an attached office of the plan panel, and the Direct Benefit Transfer programme, presently anchored in the finance ministry, under the new body.

The Centre plans to enroll all eligible into Aadhaar by March 2015.

The Niti Aayog will also be the secretariat for the inter-state council -- a body to discuss Centre-state issues. The council, under the home ministry, rarely met under UPA rule but was a regular feature under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-government.

Official sources said the key function of the plan panel -- preparation of new plans and its evaluation -- will be retained in the new body. But, it will lose its fund disbursement powers, which has already been given to the finance ministry.

The new body will have four wings for better policy implementation. Instead of one planning secretary, sources said, the new body will have four secretaries -- each handling one of the four divisions: Inter-state council, plan evaluation, UIDAI and DBT. Each division will have experts from both inside and outside Centre or state governments, sources added.

While the Prime Minister will head the policy commission, a vice-chairman will be the real executive head to firm up long and short term perspective plans. The panel is likely to have some members to assist the vice-chairman.

First Published: Nov 29, 2014 00:21 IST