New Delhi: The Planning Commission today said
it is contemplating an increase in the number of districts
which will receive aid to fight the Naxal menace under the
Integrated Action Plan (IAP) being formulated by it.
"I don`t want to speak (about this).. We think that we
would broaden it (number of Naxal-hit districts receiving
aid), but the exact numbers would be confirmed later,"
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
In an internal meeting of the panel on Tuesday, the
members had discussed the proposal to increase the number of
Naxal-hit districts from 35 to 60 under the IAP for
development of infrastructure facilities like drinking water,
roads and electricity.
The commission is reportedly divided over the issue of
raising the number of Naxal-hit districts from 35 to 60 for
grant of funds under the IAP.
One school of thought in the commission is that such a
move will result in reduced allocation of funds for each of
these districts, while others are of the view that improvement
in governance is the first requirement for capacity-building
so that the allocated money can be absorbed properly.
"The improved governance and capacity to absorb funds for
development hold the key. Money will be provided on the basis
of performance," Planning Commission Member Mihir Shah said.
"The already-allocated fund is not being used properly as
there is no capacity to absorb it. First, we need to develop
the capacity for fund absorption through improved governance,"
Shah had argued.
However, Member Secretary Sudha Pillai was of the view,
"In that case (if number of districts are raised from 35 to 60
under IAP), each district would get less money."
The Planning Commission is yet to finalise the proposal
and once the body firms up its views on all aspects, it would
be sent to the Cabinet for approval.