New Delhi: A meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the future of the Planning Commission on Sunday saw most Chief Ministers favouring restructuring of the Soviet-era body but there was no consensus on disbanding the existing set-up.
Modi, who has announced in his Independent Day speech that the Planning Commission would be replaced by a new body which is in sync with the contemporary economic world, invoked former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had said on April 30 this year that the current structure has "no futuristic vision in the post-reform period".
Modi pushed for an effective structure which strengthens "co-operative federalism" and the concept of 'Team India'. Indications from the day-long meeting suggested that the government is looking at a structure which will have the Prime Minister, some Cabinet ministers and some Chief Ministers along with technocrats and experts in various fields.
The Chief Ministers could be included in the body on rotation basis and the states could be given liberty to spend funds according to their needs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while briefing the media on the deliberations of the meeting, said no time-line has been fixed, saying the Centre will take a "considered view after consultations are over". However, there were indications that the shape of the new structure could be firmed by January 26 next year.
Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Mizoram besides poll-bound Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand did not attend the meeting where the Prime Minister sought to give greater role for the states in the new body.
At the meeting, Congress-ruled states supported the idea of revamping the Planning Commission set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1950 but disfavoured its scrapping as they felt it can be "evolved".
However, some NDA states and those ruled by parties like AIADMK and TRS wanted immediate disbanding of the Planning Commission....