Deputy chair to plan panel likely to be named on Sunday

Recast speculation gain ground after minister’s remark on streamlining the body


Seema Sindhu | July 16, 2014 | New Delhi

Prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to recast the planning commission on July 20, after his return from the BRICS summit on July 17, sources have indicated. However, it could not be verified why a Sunday has been chosen for the purpose.

An official said the PM might name only the deputy chairman (DCH) of the plan panel and the rest of the team would be announced later on in consultation with the DCH.

Several names have been doing rounds for the post of DCH, including former union ministers Arun Shourie, Suresh Prabhu and former RBI governor Bimal Jalan.

Minister of state for planning Rao Inderjit Singh, meanwhile, commented on his Facebook account on Tuesday: “As far as the role of the planning commission is concerned, it needs to be made more streamlined. The states should not take this institution as a hindrance.”

Singh’s comment gives weight to the speculation that the Modi government intends to curtain the role of the body, turning it into an advisory body or a think tank. In that case, it could have a mandate of facilitating policy making and drafting five-year plans – without any say in state annual plans and budgetary allocations to various ministries. 



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