The Planning Commission should be replaced by an organization that thinks creatively, strengthens the federal structure, and is able to energize governance at the state level, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Seeking to harness the country’s full potential, he said a suitable replacement of the Planning Commission could serve to provide India a leap forward in the current global scenario.
With development remaining his government’s top priority, he underscored the need to devise a new mechanism to deliver the goal of growth and development, said an official statement.
There is a need to “develop a new mechanism, that plans according to India`s strengths, empowers states, and brings on board all economic activity, including that which happens outside the government”, Modi said.
Previous governments have also introspected the role, relevance, and restructuring of the commission.
Modi referred to his predecessor Manmohan Singh’s remarks that the body had no futuristic vision in the post-reform period and, hence, must be reinvented to remain more effective and relevant in the present situation, said the statement.
“India’s development story is a work in progress. The Planning Commission has played a historic role in this story so far. But there is a lot of distance that is still to be covered,” Manmohan Singh had said.
Invoking the spirit of “cooperative federalism”, Modi said states should have a key role in the new body that will replace the Planning Commission. It was important for states to develop in order for the nation to develop, he added while proposing to change the process of planning from “top to bottom” to “bottom to top”.
He termed Sunday’s meeting fruitful and said all chief ministers had offered significant suggestions, said the statement.