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Government decides the structure of the new entity that will replace Planning Commission

By Gaurie Dwivedi, ET Now | 2 Sep, 2014, 12.59AM IST

Ending months of speculation. the Government has decided the shape and contours of the new entity that will replace the 62-year old Planning Commission. According to a Cabinet note Circulated by the Govt, the two key divisions of the PlanComm-the Expenditure Department – which decides on the all-powerful function of allocating funds to ministries – and Technical Department will be removed.

As per the note, the State Division will be merged with the newly-constituted Expenditure Committee within the Finance Ministry. The move will give sweeping powers to the Finance Ministry.

The Technical Division, which provides specialised domain expertise on 35 subjects will be merged with respective ministries dealing with them. Removing these two divisions will reduce the Commission’s staff strength of 1200 people by 60 percent. The remaining 480 people will continue to provide secretarial assistance to the Government.

The note also makes a case for dismantling the attached offices of PlanComm- including the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council(PMEAC). The PMEAC was considered to be one of the most crucial decision makers in the ManMohan Singh led UPA2 government.

The note makes a case for unbundling of Unique Identification Development Authority of India( UIDAI) from the Commission. UIDAI- was set up under Nandan Nilekani to provide Aadhaar cards to all Indians- will be carved into a separate entity with a separate law.

The new entity- which is yet to be named- will be restricted to only a few areas including providing long term vision and planning for the country. The new entity will also be entrusted with the role of ensuring coordination between the various ministries and effective implementation of Govt schemes.

The Prime Minister’s Office will soon take a call on the proposal that will revamp the Planning Commission- something that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been insisting on ever since he assumed office 100 days back.

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