Friday, November 28, 2014

Modi's Playboy Planning, 'Niti Ayog'


Modi's Playboy Planning, 'Niti Ayog' Niti Commission to be ...
4 days ago - Modi's Playboy Planning, 'Niti Ayog' Niti Commission to be new plan panel, PM Modi calls meeting Chetan Chauhan , Hindustan Times New Delhi, November 29, ...

Niti Commission to be new plan panel, PM Modi calls meeting

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 29, 2014
First Published: 00:21 IST(29/11/2014) | Last Updated: 02:44 IST(29/11/2014)
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.

Source: HT

Mr Modi’s Misplaced Planning


Planning Commission Shut Down. Good. Now Don’t Invent a Mutant


Join the discussion…

A month has passed, since this article was published. But for minor notices the new setup, has not surfaced. That makes Mr Modi’s style of governing. While leading general elections, Modi announced many people-friendly schemes, at the same time, denigrating previous administrations’ already in-stream systems.
Now that he has achieved his aim to be a ‘strong’ PM with adequate majority, without any likely support from BJP’ allies in NDA, he is free to demolish whatever he wants.
That being said, I want to address a critical issue, not discussed in media because Modi’s new ‘Think Tank,’ is nowhere to be seen. Trial balloons, notwithstanding, nobody, who is somebody, inside Modi’s cabinet or outside in various business, industry, trade and commerce associations, not to forget, techno-savvy IT industry’s leaders and champions has said one single word, for or against Modi’s modern and progressive modified planning-something.
As a Gujarat state chief minister, he might have different advisers and mentors to play with state planning. As a matter of fact, all states have their own planning ideas. national Planning, accepted their ideas and, in most cases, approved them. Sort of ‘rubber stamped’ their approval.
What difference does it make, whether a statutory body with their own bureacracy and established methods of collecting, collating, assessing and interpreting statistics to be equally shared with all stakeholders, including various departments and agencies under Delhi, does it, top down or bottom up?
By the way, who is at the bottom? Industry lobbies? I think so. At one desperate moment, Modi asked ‘Babus’ to make a power point presentation of what Modi achieved in his first hundred days.
Sounds like, Modi, himself is not sure. Lost in his ‘chakravuha’ like Abhimanyu?’
…and I am Sid Harth

The pity is Planning Commission does not derive its creation( from the Constitution or statute) headed by PM with some ministers as ex-officio members, is an arm of the Central/Union Government. So, this is nothing but another cabinet meet. While significant contributions do not exist, On the other it faced criticism for high spending 3.5 million to renovate two blocks of toilets. Does it make any difficulty for public or Govt due to its closure ?

  • disaster called planning commission was stinking. and it is not necessary to spell out the obvious.but delhi is a place where e\ delusions get frantic. govts are busy creating superfluous organisation which have ever lasting life. a p. m who shoots down proposals for creating white elephants will do least harm congress harmed the country, mortally.

    The irrelevance of the Planning Commission and the collegium system has been discussed for quite some time. It is not a sudden development.

    TNIE seems to be Congie mouthpiece. They allow comments against Modi but not comments against Congress or themselves.

  • The author is just a lobbyist of Modi Sarkar tom-toming
    the agenda of the govt. Modi has only given the dog a bad name &
    kicked him out. Immediately after Modi came to power in media
    (probably paid) bashing of the PC-planning commission was started by all the lobbyists. A ground was already prepared to sack the ugly servant. So the final announcement was made in the grand finale as an enevitable event as people were expected to accept this without surprise.
    This is a grand conspiracy & hood-winking by Modi Sarkar..
    There is a pattern in all this mischief & mudslinging.
    Similar sequence of events happened before the collegium system
    of appointing judges was scrapped. Articles appeared in media about colligium system deriding it and was given a bad name as “system of judges appointing judges”. A PR exercise of consulting everyone including ex-judges was done by law minister for the heck of it. Just to pacify congress it’s amendment was included and netas colluded across parties to push through a bill taking away the independence of judiciary.
    So far Modi has not spelt out the drawbacks & pitfalls of the
    PC and has not disclosed the characteristics of the new institution
    replacing the PC. IT IS EASY TO DESTROY BUT DIFFICULT TO REBUILD and that is true even with an institution or systems be it PC, collegium or PSU. Modi is just hotheaded and is closed to any meaningful debates and not at all open to ideas & criticism. The whole exercise is just a bravado clothed in secrecy and betrays arrogance. Why can’t the ex-chairmans of planning commission speak out ? I believe Arun Shourie was a member of planning commission. What he has got to say?
    Source: New Indian Express

    ‘Modi’fied Plan Panel

    PP Sangal
    That’s fine, but what’s the alternative?
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rightly decided to infuse innovative thinking into the development process and replace the Planning Commission with a suitably reformed body.
    This thinking is based mainly on three considerations. First, many think the Commission is a hurdle in quick decision making. Second, it encroaches upon the autonomy of States in spending funds allotted to them, which is against the federal system. Third, and the most important, reason is that the Plan Panel should mostly work as a “Think Tank” — an advisory body.
    Few would disagree on these. However, the Government must be very clear on what it exactly wants to do.
    The Chinese model
    It appears that the new panel is being modelled on the National Development and Reforms Commission (NRDC) of China. The NDRC is also responsible for processing and providing economic information/statistics to its provincial governments and central departments.
    In India, a similar role is already being performed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MSPI). The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) under MSPI collects, collates and analyses information and provides it to all ministries, States, foreign missions and several other organisations.
    This is in addition to the CSO’s two important functions of preparing National Accounts and Industrial Statistics reports. The MSPI also performs the function of project implementation and monitoring.
    The question is whether the new panel will also perform the functions of MSPI. If it will, the MSPI will have a restricted role. There is need for clarity on this before the new panel’s scope is decided.
    In the proposed set-up, the allocation of funds to States and Central ministries is sought to be made by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), instead of the Planning Commission.
    It raises a question, does the finance ministry have the necessary expertise to scrutinise the schemes of States and Central ministries like the Plan Panel?
    Certainly not. It means that the Ministry of Finance needs to be strengthened with subject matter experts. Does it really not mean that, we are adding to the existing strength of the finance ministry?
    And, if the current crop of experts with the Planning Commission were to join the MoF for this role, that would run the risk of old thinking persisting, defeating the very purpose of reforming the Plan Panel.
    Expert issues
    Earlier, plans were being prepared by the Commission in consultation with the States and Central ministries. Under the new dispensation, it is not yet clear who would perform this function.
    Also, who would carry out mid-term appraisal of plan implementation — MoF? Does it have the competent staff?
    We also have to take a call on the future of the Programme Evaluation Organisation and some divisions of the Planning Commission. Would they be pruned or, in part, shifted to MoF?
    The National Development Council (headed by the Prime Minister, chief ministers, Central cabinet ministers and advisors to the Plan Panel as its members) is responsible for approving our national development agenda.
    It would thus be appropriate to organise a meeting of the NDC, before taking any decision on replacing the Commission with a new body.
    If these precautions are not taken, the new body will be just old wine in a new bottle.

    The writer is a former director of the CSO

    Copyright © 2014, The Hindu Business Line.

    …and I am Sid Harth

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