In his farewell speech to the Planning Commission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India’s growth story is “work in progress” and there is still a long way to go.
“India’s development story is a work in progress…But there is a lot of distance that is still to be covered,” he said in his last interaction with members of the Planning Commission.
Singh, who is Chairman of the Commission, made a case for reorienting the body to remain relevant in the globalised world.
“With an increasingly open and liberalised economy with a greater reliance on market mechanisms, we need to reflect on what the role of the Planning Commission needs to be in this new world,” Singh said while recalling his long association with the Commission.
Expressing satisfaction over the working of the Commission during the UPA’s 10-year rule, the Prime Minister hoped the panel would “subject itself to a critical review and will continue to play a leading role in the policy debate in government and in the development of our nation.”
- Soon You Could Get Plastic Currency Notes: Find Out More
- Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor Starrer Befikre Gets A Thumbs Up
- Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response Over Various Issues Regarding Demonetisation
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Writes To West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
- Bigg Boss 10 December 8 Review: Swami Om Feels Cheated, lashes Out At Gaurav For Jail Punishment
- South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Impeached Over Corruption Scandal
- Former Air Chief SP Tyagi Arrested In VVIP Chopper Scam
- After Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya’s Twitter Account Hacked
- Find Out What PM Narendra Modi Told Cabinet Over Demonetisation Decision
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh Assures Safety Of All Tourists Stranded On Havelock Island
- Government To Waive Service Tax On Debit, Credit Card Transactions Of Up To Rs 2,000
- President Pranab Mukherjee Criticises Parliament Disruptions Over Demonetisation
- Pakistan International Airlines Flight Carrying Over 40 Passenger On Board Crashes
- Shah Rukh Khan On Raees Clash With Kaabil: It’s Impossible To Have A Solo Release In India
- US-President Elect Donald Trump Named TIME’s Person Of The Year 2016
The Commission, Singh said, needs to evaluate its approach to problems and challenges in the evolving economic scenario.
“Are we still using tools and approaches which were designed for a different era? Have we added on new functions and layers without any restructuring of the more traditional activities in the Commission?” Singh asked as he flagged some of the issues.
Singh’s association with the Commission started in April 1980, when he became a member-secretary. He was also Deputy Chairman of the body when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister.
Recalling his days as Finance Minister between 1991 and 1996, Singh said he had received the “unstinted support” of the then Planning Commission Deputy Chairman and current President Pranab Mukherjee.
“This was a period of tumultuous economic change, with the opening up of our economy, and there could have been no one better placed than Shri Mukherjee in leading this institution at that point,” he said.
During the past 10 years of UPA rule, the Commission had helped the government in charting a new growth path, improving efficiencies and building consensus.
“It has also helped shape many a debate, both in the Centre and at the state levels,” he added.
Lauding the initiatives taken by the Commission to reduce the number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CCS), Singh said there was a need to prune them further.
“I believe that there is a strong case for restructuring CSS schemes to eliminate or minimise Central Government micro-management,” he said, adding the newly set up Independent Evaluation Office would generate evidence to better assess and restructure programmes in future.
Singh also recalled the work done by the Commission in generating consensus over various policy issues.
“In the context of a coalition government, the consensus building and problem resolution function of the Planning Commission has been a growing resource for the government,” he said.
The Commission, he added, also played a significant role in generating new ideas, resolving inter-ministerial differences and pursuing public-private partnerships as a strategy for infrastructure development.