The governing council of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprising chief ministers, is likely to meet this month to review the progress in preparing the much-awaited 15-year vision document aimed to eradicate poverty in the country.
The high-level meeting headed by Prime Minister and comprising among others Chief Ministers and key central ministers like Radha Mohan Singh (Agriculture) and Arun Jaitley (Finance) will also take stock of the NITI Aayog's works on a separate seven-year strategy paper from 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert "the long term vision document into implementable policy".
A senior official involved in the exercise said the Prime Minister is keen to involve the Chief Ministers for the process as the 15-year document will essentially signal a "paradigm shift" in the very planning process marking the virtual end of the Nehruvian "five year planning system" followed in the country for last six decades since 1950s.
Unlike the five-year plan visions drawn earlier, the new 15-year ling term vision plan would also focus on sectors like infrastructure, commerce, education and health, the source said.The long-term plan paper will also seek to address issues raised in the Sustainable Development Goals as a policy matter and enuntiated by the central government and the NITI Aayog.
"NITI Aayog will monitor, coordinate and ensure implementation of the globally accepted Sustainable Development Goals," the source said adding NITI Aayog will be the "nodal body that will bring the 17 development goals into action across India". The Sustainable Development Goals also seeks to eradicate poverty.
"Besides focusing on overall development of the economy as a whole, the main objective of the 15-year vision will be poverty eradication," the source said.
The second governing council meeting after formation of NITI Aayog was held in July 2015. Last year West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the central government for disbanding the Planning Commission and also the National Development Council (NDC) where the chief ministers used to get a common platform. In the meeting later this month, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya is also likely to make a presentation on the approach taken by the institution in preparation of the plan documents.
Meanwhile, the source said a draft appraisal document of the 12th Plan (2012-17) is also being finalised. The central government is also likely to start the process of strategic disinvestment in loss-making public sector enterprises (PSEs) in July following a preliminary report from the NITI Aayog on the divestment of the government's stake in some PSEs and strategic sale of units which are sick".