New Delhi: Opposing the Centre’s move to create a new body which would replace the Planning Commission, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiha today said there is no merit or justification in the decision to dismantle the existing one created six decades ago.
Speaking at a Chief Ministers’ meet convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the proposal, he said the Commission in its work has adapted to the changed economic environment and reoriented itself to meet the objectives of the economic growth, infrastructure and planned development.
“I wonder why we need a new institution to do what is already being done by the existing one. The allure for the new must not sway us from appreciating the worth of what we have, and improving it,” Siddaramaiah said.
Conceding that in the fast-changing and globalised world, planning and implementation must be faster, he, however, said, “I do not subscribe to the view to dismantle an institution that has stood the test of time.
“Any institution of excellence can be easily disbanded with the stroke of a pen but cannot be created overnight,” the Congress leader said in his strongly worded speech.
He said the role and functions of the Planning Commission as envisaged at the time of its constitution are still relevant today.
“In my view, a new forum is not necessary. Presently, the Planning Commission, has been guided by the deliberations of the National Development Council, in which all the chief ministers of the states are also participants,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said within this overall framework, Planning Commission has been providing enough space to the states for formulating their state plans.
“By adopting such process, the Commission has largely met the objective of planning in a neutral set up,” he said.
The chief minister also criticised the Centre for not holding prior consultations with the states and convening the meeting at a “very short notice”.
“Since this meeting has been convened at a very short notice at the level of the chief ministers chaired by the Prime Minister and there having been no prior consultations at the official level, our response is limited to specific ideas floated in the paper,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said if any major changes are contemplated, the process of proceeding further may be undertaken only after detailed discussion on the “pros and cons and impact of such change on the federal structure of our polity.”