The Asian Age
60% plan panel staff to go?
With a Cabinet proposal being worked out to reinvent the Planning Commission to meet the new economic challenges the country is facing today, the ministry of planning has sent a detailed draft note to the Prime Minister’s Office ( PMO) suggesting trimming of the panel’s staff strength by 60 per cent and closing all the affiliate organisations barring Independent Evaluation Office ( IEO) and Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI).
As per the note, sources said, out of the total staff strength of about 1,200, only around 500 existing employees would be required to run the panel in its new avatar, which will have the primary role of providing “long- term economic and developmental vision” to the government.
“The rest of the staff is being accommodated in their parent cadre. However, there is a problem in adjusting about 250 employees, who have been directly recruited by the commission. But discussions are on to find ways to accommodate them in the government system,” sources said, adding that most of the “consultants and young professionals” hired on contract have been put on notice and asked to look for alternative jobs.
The draft proposal has suggested handing over the role of the existing state division of the plan panel to the finance ministry. “The allocation role of the commission is being decided to be given to the expenditure department of the finance ministry. Thus the role played by the state division in coordinating and allocating fund to the states would then be done by the finance ministry,” sources said.
Similarly, all the 35 technical departments dealing with different subjects like infrastructure, rural development, agriculture, health, telecommunication etc should now be attached with the respective ministries, the note suggested.
As far as attached offices of the Planning Commission, including Economic Advisory Council to the PM, National Rainfed Authority of India and National Institute of Labour Economics Research and Development ( formerly known as IAMR), are going to be dismantled.