NITI Aayog’s Governing Council meets on Sunday to take stock of its development documents and a three-year Action Plan, while keeping in suspense how it disposed of the Mid-Term Appraisal (MTA) of the 12th Five Year Plan, and other unfinished agenda it inherited from the erstwhile Planning Commission.
The NITI Aayog Governing Council, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and comprising 35 Chief Ministers, key Union Ministers and Aayog’s members, is meeting for the second time since the new Think
Tank was constituted on 1 January 2015, to replace the Planning Commission.
The Government Resolution on the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) kept the new body free of funds allocation work, assigning it the particular job of giving Central and State
governments relevant and strategic advice on policies.
However, NITI Aayog was simultaneously declared the successor-in-interest of the Planning Commission and told to finish its ongoing work, particularly the 12th Five Year Plan work, as this Plan (2012-17) was just half-way through with its currency when the NITI Aayog was constituted. This unfinished agenda of the erstwhile Planning Commission was the conclusion of the Mid-Term Appraisal, along with details of the 12th Plan achievements in physical and financial terms against the targets, including the GDP growth rate.
While the 12th Plan ended on 31 March, there was no word on the MTA, nor on the GDP growth rate achieved against the target of eight per cent. The NITI Aayog constitution was not meant to a disruptive event, and the12th Plan was meant to complete its full run up to 31 March 2017. Even the Budget 2017-18 made a Special Assistance provision of Rs 11,000 crore under a Finance Ministry demand for transfers to States for the schemes that were so far overseen from Planning Commission/NITI Aayog.
Under pressure to explain what happened to the Indian vision of development, NITI Aayog has been working on three documents ~ a 15-year (2015-30) Vision Document, a seven-year (2017-24) Strategy to
convert the Vision into implementable policy; and a three year (2017-2020) Action Plan for immediate programmes.
The NITI Aayog has been consulting States on the preparation of these documents. Among its other work, the Aayog is also to conduct outcome-based monitoring of expenditure in select sectors.