Panel De­mands More Scru­tiny of Niti Funds

Niti Aayog, plan­ning min­istry haven’t tabled in LS de­tailed de­mands for grants

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

devel­op­ment. In­ci­den­tally, there have been whis­pers in some Op­po­si­tion camp­sthatthe­yare­keento scru­ti­nise whether or not some out­fits en­joy­ing pa­tron­age of Sangh Pari­var are dis­creetly tap­ping re­sources at Ayog’s and min­istry’s dis­posal.

Cut­ting across party lines, most mem­bers felt if the panel dis­cussed the de­mands for grants of the two de­part­ments by over­look­ing ab­sence of their de­tailed de­mands for grants and an­nual re­ports, it will go “against the con­ven­tion/rules set by the Speaker” an­dal­sose­tan“un­healthyprece­dent” forother­min­istriesand­de­part­ments. The panel won­dered if other min­istries and de­part­ments could place their de­tailed de­mands for grants and an­nual re­ports in the House, why the Aayog and plan­ning min­istry could not­dothe­same.“It­maybedue­toigno- rance or un­pro­duc­tive au­dac­ity,” said a mem­ber af­ter the meet­ing. As soon as Kant and his team ap­peared be­fore the panel, BJD mem­ber Bhartruhari Mahtab is learnt to have ob­ject­ed­toAyog’sat­ti­tude­an­dopposed the panel pro­cess­ing its de­mands for grants. Even as Kant tried to ex­plain, BJP mem­ber Nishikant Dubey raised

OF LIT­TLE HELP

the same ob­jec­tion. Mahtab, Dubey and some mem­bers then said in the ab­sence of a de­tailed de­mands for grants and an­nual re­ports, the panel would not be able to do a macro/mi­cro pro­cessin­gof al­lot­ted­funds/spend­ing and sub­mit re­port of the two de­part­ments. They re­minded the of­fi­cials in 2016, the Aayog and min­istry failed to pre­sen­tan­nu­al­re­port. For­mer PM Man­mo­han Singh said Kant may have come pre­pared to dis­cuss de­tails, but it did not help di­lute ob­jec­tion of other mem­bers. They were not agree­able to the ex­pla­na­tion thatsincethe­bud­get­p­re­sen­ta­tion­was ad­vanced, the fi­nan­cial year was still not over for pre­sent­ing the de­tailed de­mands­for­grantsan­dan­nu­al­re­port They also re­fused the of­fer for an “in­for­mal dis­cussion” on de­mands for grants say­ing the House panel could only dis­cuss “for­mally pre­sented doc­u­ments and data in House for pre­par­ing its re­port to Par­lia­ment.

After­chair­manVeer­ap­paMoily­con­curred with the dom­i­nant view, Kant and his team had to return with­out dis­cussing de­mands for grants.

Kant was not avail­able for com­ment when ET phoned­him.

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