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Rediff News  All News  » Business » PMO asks Montek, other Plan panel members to stay

PMO asks Montek, other Plan panel members to stay

June 04, 2009 11:10 IST

The Prime Minister's Office has asked Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and other members of the Plan panel to continue in office till further notice.

Ahluwalia and members of the panel had submitted their resignations after the previous United Progressive Alliance government completed its term.

Government sources in the PMO said that Ahluwalia and other panel members will continue till the next Planning Commission is constituted by the prime minister. "Ahluwalia is likely to be back as the deputy chairman," the source added.

The apex panel plays a crucial role in the budgetary process. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to present the Budget in the first week of July.

"The budgetary process has started and officials led by the advisers are handling the issues," said a member, who did not wish to be identified.

Though the recommendations of the Plan panel are not legally binding, the inputs are crucial in dealing with the planned expenditure by the government. For example, after the finance ministry decided on the gross budgetary support, the Plan panel decides on the allocations for state or central government departments.

In this process, the Planning Commission also has discussions with various ministries and government agencies on their demand for grants.

Sources in the commission confirmed that Ahluwalia and the members have been asked to continue till the new commission is constituted.

In fact, many members have been attending their office, but "not on a regular basis." Members of the Plan panel include B N Yugandhar, Anwarul Hoda, B K Chaturvedi, Syeda Hameed, Bhalchandra Mungekar, V L Chopra, Abhijit Sen and Kirit S Parikh.

BS Reporters in New Delhi