Nepal too to restructure national plan panel
Posted on Sep 01 2014 | IANS
By Anil Giri, Kathmandu, Sep 1 : After the new Indian government decided to scrap the Planning Commission, the Nepal government also has decided to restructure, revamp and modernise its National Planning Commission (NPC), which is styled on the Indian planning panel.
Like in India, much criticism has been made about the apex development body that has largely failed to cater to this Himalayan nation's developmental aspirations and could not translate into a think tank to provide policy inputs to the government.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala Sunday evening decided to restructure and reform the existing structure of the NPC of Nepal in order to make its role more effective to cope with emerging development challenges. The NPC was set up in 1956 first as Yojana Mandal.
On Aug 15, during his address on Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the scrapping of the Soviet-style Planning Commission and replacing it with a new body.
After India set up the Planning Commission, Nepal also followed suit, copied the Indian style in toto and started executing five-year plans.
"The NPC will submit a report within three months on how to restructure it in the changed political context, bringing out a reform programme to meet the growing developmental challenges, among others," said the statement.
The NCP has been criticised for being mostly occupied in approving small projects forwarded by various ministries, and failing to provide policy inputs to the government.
Concern has been expressed by various quarters that the NPC has not been influential, or effective and mostly indulged in petty works in the new reform plan.
The meeting also decided to transform it into an apex body for national development and storage of ideas and polices.
The NPC also failed to provide policy guidelines to the government as a think tank and failed to augment the government's development aspects, which was why it needed to be revamped, officials of the NPC said.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)