The Uttar Pradesh government is in the process of restructuring the state Planning Commission on the lines of the National Institution for Transformation of India (NITI) Aayog.
The NITI Aayog, which replaced the Central Planning Commission, was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014-15. The Centre had suggested to then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to set up ‘State NITI Aayog’, but he chose to ignore the suggestion.
NITI Aayog had suggested to UP to model its planning commission on the lines of the federal think-tank. The idea to remodel the state planning commission on the lines of NITI Aayog gained momentum after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended a meeting of its governing council in June. The council is headed by the Prime Minister and all chief ministers are its members.
NITI Aayog had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UP government and created a joint working group to work out the modalities for restructuring the UP Planning Commission.
“We are looking at strengthening state planning commission. There is a suggestion from the NITI Aayog that the UP government can adopt the federal think tank’s structure,” an official said.
Sources said that a joint working group was constituted for taking up the process of reorganisation of state government departments for greater efficiency and transparency.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and UP Chief Secretary are other members of the joint working group, which was tasked with preparing a roadmap for speedier socio-economic development of UP in line with the action points and indicators suggested by the NITI Aayog.
The sources said UP was deliberating on what aspects of the NITI Aayog could be incorporated in the state planning commission.
“The government has to take the final call in the matter. The radical policy change will have to pass the state Cabinet scrutiny before it can be enforced,” the sources said.
As Yogi Adityanath has pitched UP to become a trillion dollar economy by 2024 in keeping with the ambitious target of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India to achieve the $5 trillion mark in the next five years, the state government is now trying to synchronies its programmes with the Centre for optimal leveraging.
The UP Planning Commission was set up in 1971 to steer the development process in the state. The commission in last five decades was never fully constituted and it worked like any other government department. The state planning commission however prepared the five-year plans and aided the state government in co-ordination with the central planning commission in the approval of annual plans and for obtaining more and more resources for the state. The Chief Minister is the chairman of the state planning commission.
During the last five decades, political persons were appointed as deputy chairman of the state planning commission, enjoying the rank of the Cabinet minister. The last deputy chairman during the Samajwadi Party regime was Naveen Chandra Bajpai, who is also a former Chief Secretary of the state.