After the abolition of the Planning Commission, the Government of India has set up, the NITI Aayog which is a policy making body. On similar lines, the state government in its CMM meeting dated 15/02/2018 has decided to restructure the State's Planning Department.
Restructured department will provide critical directional and strategic inputs into the development process of the state focussing on deliverables and outcomes. Its primary job would be to undertake long term policies and design framework and take necessary initiatives for attaining faster development and finally to monitor and evaluate the implementation of these policies and suggest mid-course corrections. This would also help immensely in future policy formulation. This would be a break from the past, when this department was formulating the State's Annual Plan as well as Five Year Plan and was responsible for the allocation of funds for these Plans.
The Department of Planning will be renamed as “Department of Economic Policy and Planning” and similarly the Punjab State Planning Board will be renamed as “Economic Policy and Planning Board”.
After reorganisation, the department would be categorised into 5 divisions namely (i) Economic Policy Division (ii) Data Analysis and Monitoring & Evaluation Division (iii) Human Capital and Social Development Division (iv) Infrastructure & Public Private Partnership Division (v) Institutions Division. Each division will be headed by an expert designated as Advisor. The new set up will review the work done during the previous years and will formulate the policies for the overall socio-economic development of the state, keeping in view the needs as well as aspirations of the people. The outcomes from the monitoring and evaluation of the programmes will be used as bench mark for making the improvement in the implementation of the programmes and necessary midterm corrections.
Schemes Administered by Department of Planning
The Department of Planning is discharging the functions as Administrative Department mainly in respect of the following schemes under the Head “Secretariat Economic Services” and District Plan:-
The objective of Centrally Sponsored Border Area Development Programme (60:40) is to meet the special developmental needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border. BADP is basically gap-filling programme and works are taken up after convergence and dovetailing with the ongoing development programme/schemes. The programme is implemented strictly as per the guidelines issued for this purpose by the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI in the 6 border districts of the state comprising of 20 blocks and 1962 number of villages. Funds are provided to facilitate the saturation of border villages with essential infrastructure w.r.t Health facilities (infrastructure & equipments), Education facilities like addition of class rooms, construction of boundary walls etc., Sports Facilities (Infrastructure/Equipments), Infrastructure Facilities (Approach Road/Link Road, Community Centres, Anganwari Centres, Safe Drinking Water Supply/Reverse Osmosis (RO) , Electricity Facilities (Solar, LED etc) and Capacity Building Programmes etc.
Assistance to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
The Department of Planning is the Nodal Department for sanctioning the funds to the concerned Administrative Departments for providing monetary assistance to Non Government Organizations (NGOs) under Scheme PM-06 “Assistance to NGOs.” The implementation of this scheme lies with the Administrative Departments viz. Health and Family Welfare, Social Security and Women & Child Development, Social Justice and Empowerment of Minorities, School Education, Rural Development and Animal Husbandry. The scheme is being implemented as per the guidelines formulated by the state. An Apex Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Punjab for promoting the role of NGOs in the state. Maximum support of Rs.10.00 lac per annum per project subject to maximum of Rs.15.00 lac per annum for more than one project can be provided under this scheme. However, there is no limit for projects under service sector with motive to create awareness among masses.
Assistance to Research Institutions
The Department of Planning provides grant-in-aid to Research Institutions like Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) and Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) to promote research activities in the State. A sum of Rs. 5 Cr ( Rs. 1 Cr as ACA during 2003-04 and Rs. 4 Cr during 2006-07 and 2007-08) given to IDC for creation of Corpus Fund. A sum of Rs. 5 Cr. stands released to CRRID for creation of Corpus Fund during 2006-07 and 2007-08. During 2017-18, the Planning Department had provided a grant of Rs. 1 Cr to CRRID on the non-plan side, against the grant received from Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and Rs. 1 Cr. to IDC as annual grant.
The concept of untied funds was introduced in 1988-89 with the objective to carry out the works of emergent nature which are normally not covered under the schemes decentralized at the district level. These funds are provided mainly for filling up the missing gaps and for completing the incomplete public utility assets. An expenditure of Rs.14.77 Crore has been incurred under the scheme PM -3 “Untied Funds of CM/Dy CM/FM” during 2017-18. A budget provision of Rs.15.00 Crore has been made under the Scheme during the year 2018-19.
With the growing multiplicity of Governmental functions and increasing size of the developmental plans, It was essential that resources were utilized in the most productive manner, whether in economic or social terms. A review of the economic development in the last two decades revealed grave growth distortions and sectoral as well as area imbalance. Planning had been the part-time activity of a Government Department. The absence of an adequately equipped Apex Planning Body in the State had led to the deterioration of developmental strategy into a mere aggregation of developmental thinking in which projects and programmes were prepared by concerned Departments, and the Planning Department had occupied itself with the pruning of their proposals to fit into the overall size of the State Plan.
The Punjab State Planning Board(PSPB) was created vide State Govt. Notification dated 27.9.1972 after a decision taken by the Punjab Government on 13.9.1972. The creation of Punjab State Planning Board was done on the recommendation of the Planning Commission with a view to have an apex Planning Body consisting of subject matter specialists and technical experts in the form of a Board or a Commission to strengthen the departmental machinery responsible for the formulation of development plans in the State.
The State Government has issued Notifications from time to time regarding constitution of the Punjab State Planning Board.The State Planning Board functions as Advisory Body and makes recommendations to the State Government. The Punjab State Planning Board functions as the Department of Planning at the Secretariat level and issues advice to other Administrative Departments of the State Government. The Punjab State Planning Board was created with a view to attract central assistance in the form of normal central assistance, additional central assistance, special central assistance etc. for plan programmes of the State from the Planning Commission, Government of India and the staff posted in the State Planning Board is doing this work as an administrative department at Secretariat level.
The Punjab State Planning Board works under the overall guidance of the State Government and is headed by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Punjab as an Ex-Officio Chairman. The State Government can appoint Vice Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson as per the requirements.The other Ex-Offico members include all ministers, all MPs, Chairmen of Advisory Commitees to Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Finance and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister. Besides Non -Official Members can be appointed as per requirement. Principal Secretary Planning or Secretary Planning is the Member Secretary of the Punjab State Planning Board. As per the Notification dated 11/04/2002 and subsequent notifications, the constitution of the Board till 11/04/2007 is as follows :