Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, a Congress veteran, on Sunday opposed the move to scrap the Planning Commission, saying replacing it without carefully devising a new structure was likely to do more harm than good.
“Perhaps, what is required is to reorient and reform the Commission to meet the needs of the current era. I would like to emphasise that such replacement, without carefully devising the new structure to meet the obligations of our polity and economy, is likely to do more harm than good,” he said.
Gogoi was addressing the conference of Chief Ministers convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the future of the plan panel.
“Let me put it on record that I am not favour of replacing the Planning Commission by a new institution without a proper examination of the implications involved and in the absence of an institutional structure acceptable to all,” he said.
He said while everyone recognises that the country has come a long way and our economy has evolved and transformed over the last several decades, there is a need to carefully introspect whether there is requirement to enable reform and evolution of this institution to enable it to meet new challenges or to replace it entirely with a new institution.
The Chief Minister said the fact of the matter is that India is a country with huge inter-regional, inter-state and intra-state disparities.
The only way to close these gaps is through a planned process of public investment to address human and social development requirements, and by planning and investment in economic infrastructure of all kinds, he said.
“It is here that the role of the Planning Commission is crucial. We have to be careful not to arbitrarily jettison this role of the Commission. Besides, there is lack of clarity on the institutional reform necessary to meet the requirements of the new economy. We must consider very carefully,” he said.