While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to replace the Planning Commission with a new body was met with anticipated resistance from Congress-ruled states, it found the expected thumbs-up from chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan batted for a new advisory body, saying the Planning Commission did not meet aspirations of the states. He also proposed the setting-up of a “knowledge and innovation hub” under the proposed body.
Stating that the Planning Commission “has a centralised structure” which “doesn’t meet the aspirations and needs of the states”, Chouhan, while speaking at the meeting of chief ministers called by the Prime Minister, said there was a need to change the mandate of Planning Commission. He also suggested that the new body should be under the Prime Minister and should have all chief ministers as its members. “The new body should make sector specific long-term plans,” he said.
Echoing his views, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said there was need for a new constitutionally formed body to replace the Planning Commission so as to have proper coordination between the Centre and the states.
“Planning Commission working has become centralised. The planning on the states subjects decided under the Constitution is being done by the Commission. Schemes are being decided on one parameter rather on needs of states,” Singh said at the meeting. He advocated the abolition of plan and non-plan allocation saying it has no meaning.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje too endorsed the PM’s move. “Fully support PM’s idea of cooperative federalism — the only way through which states can work together to achieve national goals… Welcome the thought process for reinventing institutions. States deserve more say in planning, devolution of funds & deciding on priorities… I firmly believe in the Constitution, which provides enough opportunities for dialogue between states and dialogue between Centre & states,” Raje said in a series of tweets.