Need to streamline role of Planning Commission: Minister

Tags: News
Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh today underlined the need for streamlining the role of the Planning Commission, the country's apex policy making body which is yet to be reconstituted by the new government.

"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 said in his Facebook post.

Questions are being raised about the role of the Planning Commission as the government has been moving towards market-linked development process since 1991.

The Narendra Modi government is yet to reconstitute the Planning Commission, the term of which is co-terminus with the government. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Commission.

In a recent interview, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said Modi would make an announcement about the role of the Commission.

On the issue of Rangarajan committee report on poverty, Singh said the recommendations are still being considered by the government.

Rangarajan's report, which was submitted to the Planning Commission earlier this month, dismissed the Tendulkar Committee report on estimating poverty. It had said the number of poor in India was much higher in 2011-12 at 29.5 per cent of the population.

As per the report, persons spending below Rs 47 a day in cities would be considered poor, much above the Rs 33-per-day mark suggested by the Suresh Tendulkar Committee.

As per Rangarajan panel estimates, poverty stood at 38.2 per cent in 2009-10 and fell to 29.5 per cent in 2011-12.

On other issues, Singh said the unique identification number issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would continue to remain under the Planning commission and the NPR (National Population Register) under the purview of Ministry of Home Affairs.

"Merger of these two records is not going to be an immediate exercise," he posted.

In reply to a question on foreign funding of NGOs, he said it needs to be re-looked at.

"We must ensure that there shouldn't be even an iota of intent to subvert the democracy and territorial integrity of India behind this kind of funding," the Minister said in his post on the social networking site.

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