Strengthen Planning Commission: Himachal CM

New Delhi : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Sunday said functioning of Planning Commission in its present form should be strengthened by giving it additional functions so as to meet aspirations of the states.

“The Planning Commission has played a pioneering role during last six decades besides assisting the states in formulation of plans in a consultative manner,” he said at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the chief ministers here to seek their views on the structure and functioning of the revamped planning commission.

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He contended the present 15 present of allocation of total plan funds as block grants to the states were too less to meet the development needs of the states and suggested to at least 50 percent.

Virbhadra Singh also said the move to distribute the planning functions among the finance ministry and the ministry concerned would result in loss of perspective and long-term view.

The differences in approach between Planning Commission and finance ministry were always useful in providing check and balances since the commission always considered the states’ viewpoints in schemes and plans, he said.

The chief minister raised the issue of environmental services and lauded Planning Commission’s initiatives on development of hilly states and livelihood issues.

He said the Planning Commission also helped Himachal Pradesh in providing central state funding in the ratio 90:10 on the pattern of northeast states, and the hill economies had been able to sustain themselves due to continuous support in form of plan assistance by the Planning Commission.

“The achievements made in the field of socio-economic development in the hill states could be sustained only with liberal financial assistance from Planning Commission,” he added.