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Plan panel forms 7 task forces

August 06, 2004 10:06 IST

The Planning Commission has set up seven inter-ministerial task groups to address issues across sectors, which are related to the National Common Minimum Programme.

The issues to be tackled include regional imbalance, promotion of self-employment in agriculture and allied activities, food and national security, development of scheduled castes and tribes and water resources. All the task forces will be headed by RR Shah, secretary, Planning Commission.

Members will include secretaries of the concerned ministries and departments. They will be free to associate professionals, domain experts and will have active interaction with state governments.

The group on redressing growing regional imbalance will give recommendations for addressing the problem among and within states through fiscal and administrative means.

The group will also give suggestions for correction of distortions in Plan allocation and central government assistance to states. The creation of a 'Backward States Grant Fund', announced in the Budget, will also be considered.

The NCMP envisages the creation of a Backward States Grant Commission to be used for creating productive assets in such states.

It also envisages that all non-statutory resource transfers from the central government will be weighed in favour of poor and backward states, but with performance parameters as well.

The group will look at how this can be achieved. It will also look into the requirements of special programmes to be taken up for development of social and physical development in the poorest and most backward states on a priority basis. The issue of mineral royalty to states will also be part of the mandate.

There is also a group for integration of ongoing schemes to address water conservation. The group will focus on integration of selected ongoing schemes with multiple ministries through a National Water Mission.

It will also attempt to combine employment programmes with water conservation and use the 'Mission' format to enlist community action.

Another group on efficient utilisation of water resources would address issues of over exploitation of ground water and non-utilisation of created capacity.

The other groups include one on investment, credit and technical support to promote self-employment in agriculture, horticulture, afforestation, dairying and agro-processing, on comprehensive medium-term strategy for food and nutritional security, on technological, investment and marketing support for household and artisanal manufacturing units and one on the development of the scheduled castes and tribes. All groups are to submit their reports within three months.

Addressing CMP issues

  • All groups will be headed by RR Shah, secretary, Planning Commission
  • The groups will be free to associate professionals and will have active interaction with state governments
  • The issues to be tackled include regional imbalance, promotion of self-employment in agriculture, food and national security, development of scheduled castes and tribes and water resources
BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi