Constitution of State Planning Board in limbo

Process At Initial Stage; Finance Department’s Approval Awaited

ADMINISTRATIVE INERTIA

FIRDOUS TAK

Jammu, Oct 29: Jammu and Kashmir is unlikely to have its much publicized State Planning Board – proposed to be constituted on the pattern of Planning Commission of India – by this yearend, a deadline set by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Reliable sources in the State Government claimed that the process was still at the initial stage and there was hardly any headway in the last two months after Planning Department – headed by the Chief Minister– submitted the proposal to the Finance Department for approval.
At the time of annual plan allocation, the State Government had informed Planning Commission of India that the process for the constitution of the Board is at the last stage and it will be given a final shape by the end of this year.
“We are contemplating to establish this Board for evolving an integrated approach to policy formulation in planning and development in the State,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had told the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, in the final meeting held for finalization of annual plan outlay of Jammu and Kashmir for the current financial year.
“Reform of the planning process is crucial in the context of re-energized grass root level institutions,” the CM had told the PCI, claiming that the State Planning Board on the pattern of the Planning Commission is being set up before December 2012 to orient the planning process to rising public expectations.
However, sources said that despite the deadline set by the Chief Minister, the process was at the initial stage. “There is still uncertainty over the constitution of the Board”, sources in the Planning department said, adding, “It was being proposed that the Board will comprise of members nominated by the State Government and headed by Chairman (Chief Minister). However, it will at the same time minimize the role of Planning Department and in a way Government will have to re-organize the department”, they added.
“As the constitution of the Board will have financial implications, the matter was taken up with the Finance Department,” sources said, adding that the department was yet to clear the proposal.
Principal Secretary Planning, BB Vyas, when contacted, also confirmed that the proposal was lying with the Finance Department for clearance. “We are on the job and are waiting for clearance from Finance department,” he said.
The constitution of the Board was approved by the State Cabinet this April after being strongly recommended by State Finance Commission.
Officials said the Board would play an advisory and recommendatory role for evolving an integrated approach to policy formulation in critical areas of human and economic development. It will also play the role of a mediator and facilitator for devising a framework for allocation of resources for equitable development of different regions in the State.
Besides, the Board will facilitate making an assessment of material, capital and human resources of the State, including technical personnel and exploring the possibility of augmenting resources. The Board would formulate long-term, medium-term and annual plans for most effective and balanced utilization of resources.
Presently the planning department headed by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is dealing with the allocation of funds for various state sponsored schemes and monitoring of work being executed by the government departments. Official sources said  that the constitution the constitution of State Planning Board is a continuous process and has to incorporate the provisions of District Planning Board, which are to be constituted accordingly to Panchayat Raj Act.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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