Expert Opinion

‘A welcome move’

Print edition : September 19, 2014

THE Narendra Modi-led NDA government’s decision to do away with the Planning Commission is a welcome move. This is a decision that was long overdue. It is a step in the right direction. This institution was not able to meet its mandate of greater devolution of power to the States. Besides, the need of the hour for the economy is large inflows of money from abroad, large FDI inflows.

Expectations from the new body

This is a little difficult to answer at this point of time. The contours of the new institution are not clear yet. However, one can expect that this institution will ensure better targeting of the social and developmental programmes of the government. A number of welfare schemes of the government do not reach the intended beneficiaries. In fact, certain corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes work better in terms of delivery and social impact. It can be hoped that the new institution will address these issues.

How can corporates partner with the new institution?

A number of corporates have shown keen interest in participating in the development agenda of the government. For instance, a number of institutions have shown interest in participating in the “Swachh Bharat” campaign of the NDA government. In his Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister expressed the commitment of his government to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019 by eliminating the practice of open defecation. A number of companies have already announced their plans to be a part of this campaign.

Tata Consultancy Services has announced a scheme of Rs.100 crore for building toilets in schools as part of its CSR initiatives. Bharti Airtel has also launched a similar project with an investment of Rs.100 crore. The Aditya Birla group has promised to construct 10,000 sanitation facilities. Corporates would be interested in partnering with the new institution in areas such as sanitation, drinking water and housing.

As told to Sagnik Dutta

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