Monday, 24 April 2017

NITI Aayog to present new approach


The five-year plan followed for more than six decades(दशकों) ended in March with the 12th Plan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog on Sunday, where a new three-year policy action plan to replace the old system of five-year plans will be discussed. Besides the new planning process, the council is likely to take up for discussion issues such as increasing farmer incomes and urban development. According to a senior government official, the three-year action plan will also include a strategy to spruce up the law and order situation.

“This is the first time that an economic policy document will also focus on judicial reforms(न्यायिक सुधार)  and how to improve law and order and the police system. There will be an entire chapter dedicated(समर्पित) to it,” the official added.

The Aayog’s Governing Council will meet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. “A presentation will be made on the three-year action plan which has been sent to the Prime Minister,” the official said, adding that the Aayog’s Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya will apprise the council of the activities undertaken over the past year by the Aayog.

The practice of five-year plans, being followed for over six decades, ended with the 12th Plan that concluded on March 31 this year. NITI Aayog which was set up in December 2014 after abolishing the Planning Commission, will now come out with a 15-year vision document that is to be supplemented by a seven-year strategy and three-year action plans.

The Council, that includes all chief ministers as members, will be presented with “detailed plans on doubling of farmers’ income.” The Prime Minister had in February last year urged (आग्रह किया) all state governments to give priority to boosting the agriculture sector with a target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

“For the short-term, the Aayog is likely to recommend measures such as direct purchase from farmers by private players, direct sale by farmers to consumers, to allow farmers to get the larger share of the prices that the end consumer pays. One of the long term strategies will be to encourage farmers to move to high-value products such as Animal Husbandry and Fishery,” the official said.

Report card

The Aayog is also likely to place before the council a report card on its two years as an institution. “NITI Aayog is a new institution and should be seen that way… The Planning Commission wrote and implemented five-year plans. We don’t. We will soon put out three-year action plan and a 15-year vision document,” Mr. Panagariya said on Friday.

“It has a different way of thinking. The Planning Commission used to also allocate funds to the states…. Our relation with the states is more equal,” he said.

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