Modi to meet CMs tomorrow; discuss structure of new Plan panel

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chief Ministers on Sunday to discuss the structure, scope and role of the new body that will replace Planning Commission in the changed economic scenario under the new government.

“The Prime Minister will seek the views of Chief Ministers on the shape and functions of the body which would replace the Planning Commission,” said an official source.

According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: “Empowering the states has been one of our critical beliefs. I do hope that after tomorrow’s meeting, whatever decision will be taken, probably states will be in better position.”

As per the agenda, Planning Secretary Sindhushree Khullar will make a presentation on the functions and contours of the new institution which will ultimately replace the Plan panel.

After the presentation, the Chief Ministers would be asked to give their views on the different points highlighted in the concept note prepared after consultations with various stakeholders like experts, former members and senior officials of the Commission and others.

The new institution may have 8 to 10 regular or executive members with half of them representing the states. The remaining members could be sectoral experts such as environmentalists, financial experts, engineers, scientists and other eminent scholars form different fields.

The new body may be headed by the Prime Minister as the chairman position would be ex-officio.

It is suggested that the new institution would have functions including monitoring and evaluation; programme project and scheme evaluation; cross-sectoral and inter- ministerial expertise and appraisal and monitoring of projects.

The Commission has not been reconstituted since May, when all its members resigned after the new government came to power following the general elections.