Press Trust of India, December 19, 2013

Former finance minister days Planning Commission is the biggest obstacle in the path of federalism

Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinhahas said that Planning Commission should be restructured to do “perspective planning and implementation”, without being empowered to “micro-manage” the states.

“The Planning Commission is the biggest obstacle in the path of federalism. It should be restructured to do perspective planning and implementation without being empowered to micro manage the states,” Sinha said at an event yesterday on the topic, ‘Fiscal Federalism: The Unequal Balance.’

Planning Commission was created by an executive order and has been continuing without any constitutional or statutory backing, but is playing a significant role in devolution of funds to states, he said. India is a union of states and not a federation, for which several provisions in the Constitution exist, which provides a unitary character, Sinha said, adding: “We are gradually moving towards federalism considering the fact that many regional parties are ruling in states”.

Chairing the lecture event, Rajya Sabha member N K Singh said that federal practices have not kept pace with changing dynamics and economic realities of the country. “There was no credible and viable mechanism at present, for coordination between states and central government. The Interstate Council is defunct,” Singh said

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