Govt renames Planning Commission as Niti Aayog

New Delhi, Jan 01: The Narendra Modi led central government renamed the Planning Commission as Niti Aayog. This should be seen as the first step towards changing it with new identity on the New Year.

It can be noted that the PM Narendra Modi had proposed to replace the Planning Commission after he assumed the office.  He had called the meeting of all chief ministers recently to discuss the structure of the new body which would replace the Commission. 

Majority of the states viewed in favour of Modi's proposal.

However, Congress-ruled states did not agree to replace the Planning Commission, which was set up by the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. They suggested restructuring of the existing body, rather than a complete replacement.

The matter was earlier discussed in the Parliament. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the new government believes in the principle of "cooperative federalism" and the new body should be set up in place of Planning Commission.

"Our government stands by the principle of cooperative federalism, empowering states, least number of central schemes and more state schemes," Jaitley said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha.

The Planning Commission was set up by a simple government resolution in March 1950 and has withstood many political and economic upheavals. Several time, this was criticised for its controversial reports including those related to its poverty estimates as also about a huge toilet renovation bill and foreign tour expenses of its last Deputy Chairman.

The plan panel has commissioned 12 five-year plans and six annual plans involving fund outlays of over Rs 200 lakh crore in its 65-year-history.

Initially, this was set up as part of the government's declared objectives to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of resources, increasing production and offering employment opportunities.

This was responsible for assessing all resources of the country, augmenting deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilisation of resources and determining priorities.

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