Friday, Aug 23, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The meeting held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, K.C. Pant, on Wednesday, also decided that out of the 360 CSS in operation, 49 would be discontinued while 161 other schemes would be merged and the total number reduced to 53.
The nine schemes which have been identified for transfer include the Rural Family Welfare Centres, with an outlay of Rs. 1,500 crores during the Ninth Plan, Post Partum Centres, with an outlay of Rs. 530 crores, Industrial Growth Centres (Rs. 307 crores), Community and Institutional Biogas Plants (Rs. 30 crores), Improved Chulha Scheme (Rs. 84 crores), National Social Assistance Programme (Rs. 3,280 crores), Annapurna (Rs. 596 crores), Employment Schemes for the Handicapped (Rs. 5 crores) and Balika Samridhi Yojana (Rs. 390 crores). Incidentally, out of the 49 schemes to be discontinued, as many as 15 pertain to the Labour Ministry which will now have only one CSS.
Talking to presspersons, Mr. Pant said the weeding out and merger of schemes had come about after the zero based budgeting exercise undertaken for the Tenth Plan by the Planning Commission. The commission would give added thrust to physical monitoring of the schemes to ensure their implementation in a time-bound manner.
Mr. Pant pointed out that the States had also agreed to the strengthening of the monitoring mechanism for the schemes. "There has been a recognition by the States on the need to strengthen monitoring. Some States have even suggested keeping aside 10 per cent of the funds as incentive for better performance. The strengthening of physical monitoring is extremely important to achieve the eight per cent growth target set for the Tenth Plan,'' he said.
The Deputy Chairman said the suggestions of the States for greater flexibility would be discussed in detail with the concerned Central Ministries after which a meeting of the committee would be called to finalise the guidelines.
Of the CSS to be retained, 43 schemes belong to the Family Welfare Department, seven to the Secondary and Higher Education Department, six each to Health and Social Justice and Empowerment Ministries and four each to Women and Child Development, Urban Development, Water Resources, Non-conventional Resources and the Tourism Ministry.
For the remaining schemes, it is proposed that after the NDC committee approves the schemes to be transferred, an assessment of the quantum of the funds to be transferred to the States on account of these schemes would be made at the revised estimate stage next year.
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