New Delhi: Terming as "regressive" the setting up of NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission, CPI(M) on Friday said the measure would put states at the mercy of the Centre as it would open "new doors for political bargaining and deal-making".
CPI too criticised the government's move, saying it would lead to "confrontation" between the states and the Centre, with "many Chief Ministers" favouring continuation of the Planning Commission to coordinate with the state planning boards.
In a statement, the CPI(M) Politburo said that formation of NITI Aayog is "a regressive step which will further push the country into a market-driven economy and privatisation in all spheres at the expense of diluting even the present inadequate schemes aimed at improving people's welfare".
Describing the government's claim that the new set-up would have the states as stake-holders as "spurious", it said the National Development Council was being replaced by a Governing Council which is "a powerless body of a think-tank".
"That think-tank will be under the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's Office. This is a centralised unitarian structure."
Maintaining that allocations to the states would be decided by the Finance Ministry, the party said it would make the states "subject to the political whims" of the Centre.
"By saying 'one size fits all' cannot work, what is being done is to put the states at the mercy of the Centre to be dealt with arbitrarily without any common principles and norms. This dangerously opens new doors for political bargaining and deal-making," the major Left party said.
"Whatever role the Planning Commission had to allocate resources for the public sector and deploying public investment keeping in mind the regional disparities has now ended," CPI(M) said.