Coming down heavily on the Planning Commission for its overbearing attitude, the Parliamentary panel on Friday asked the commission to confine itself to planning and allocation of resources and not to exceed its brief.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken strong exception to the move of the Planning Commission to finalise the Model Concession Agreements (MCA) on the basis of models being followed in western countries.
The committee, headed by CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, opined that the documents prepared by the line ministries for implementing a project may seen by the Planning Commission just as done by the Department of Law and Department of Expenditure and the commission should refrain from commenting upon the engineering and technical aspects.
Yechury has been a trenchant critic of the UPA’s economic policies, and this is not the first time that the Parliamentary panel he heads has slammed the policies of the Planning Commission on infrastructure projects.
The committee, in its report presented to the Parliament, said that even Model Concession Agreements are being finalised in the Planning Commission based on the western models. “If it is true, the committee feels that the Planning Commission by doing so was going beyond its original mandate visualized by Jawaharlal Nehru, whose idea was to have such body which could facilitate faster growth and development in planner manner,” the report said.
The committee recommended that the concessionaire agreements devised by the Planning Commission should be reformulated in concurrence with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to address the local conditions and changing circumstances.
“The committee feels the western models will not work in our country because we have our own peculiarities and constraints,” it observed.