Rawat Opposes Disbanding of Planning Commission
DEHRADUN: Opposing disbanding of the Planning Commission of India, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat has advocated its restructuring as a statutory body with greater representation to states and special cells within the revamped panel for Himalayan and north-eastern states.
In his speech at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Ministers in New Delhi yesterday to discuss the future of the Commission, Rawat said the Centre's unilateral decision to disband it without taking states into confidence had taken everyone by surprise.
"It would have been a better convention if the States had been consulted before making such an announcement.
In my considered opinion, the Planning Commission has played a stellar role in inclusive development of the country by providing a forum to states to voice their concern," Rawat said referring to the Prime Minister's announcement to disband the commission while delivering his Independence Day speech.
Terming the decision by the PM "sudden" and "unilateral" Rawat suggested that instead of creating a new body in place of the Planning Commission it should be reoriented as a panel with statutory status where states have their proper representation and which has a dispute resolution mechanism.
"Given the diverse nature of the mountainous states, the 'One size fits all' paradigm has always been a major cause of our problems.
It needs to be ensured here that the reoriented Commission gives maximum discretion to the states within a broad framework given by it," the Chief Minister said in his speech.
Within the restructured body, there should be a separate cell for Himalayan and North-Eastern States which can look into equitable distribution of resources to these states so as to ensure inclusive development.
"While construction of Metro train systems, smart cities, four-lane roads, gas plants are important, some of us especially Himalayan and North-Eastern States, are struggling for basic amenities like drinking water, sewerage, road connectivity, basic health facilities etc," he said.
A large number of people are migrating from these border areas due to lack of amenities and creating a demographic vacuum which is being filled up by people from neighbouring countries, the Chief Minister said.
"The creed of inclusive development would mandate that the needs and aspirations of these deprived states are taken into account in an equitable manner," he said.