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Kerala - Pathanamthitta Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

A lively debate on People's Plan

Staff Reporter

Leaders debate the future of decentralised Plan process



Open forum:Omalloor Sankaran (LDF), Peelipose Thomas (UDF) and

PATHANAMTHITTA: A ‘Meet-theleaders' programme organised by the Pathanamthitta Press Club on Tuesday turned out to be a debate on the People's Planning Programme in the district.

Addressing the meet, Omalloor Sankaran, Communist Party of India (Marxist) district committee member, attributed the development story of Kerala to the decentralised planning process of People's Plan introduced by the previous Left Democratic Front government 13 years ago.

Mr. Sankaran said the success of the People's Plan was the decentralisation of resources as well as planning. However, the United Democratic Front that assumed power, later, reviewed the process and even changed its name, minimising the involvement of the common people in the process, he alleged.

However, the LDF government that succeeded the UDF government had infused life into the programme and enlivened beneficiary committees. The financial dealings as part of the planning process had been made transparent through social auditing, Mr. Sankaran said.

Peelipose Thomas, UDF district convener and the former State Planning Board member, alleged that even Finance Minister Thomas Isaac had expressed apprehension over the need for sustaining the programme.

In his book, Mr. Isaac himself had opined in the negative on the need for sustaining the People's Plan process, he added.

Mr. Thomas alleged that administrative flaws of the government had delayed the local body polls. He said panchayats had lost many of its powers ever since the Panchayati Raj Act came into force in 1994.

The power to act against paddy field conversion too was taken away from the panchayats.

He alleged that the People's Planning programme had also witnessed usurping of the people's representatives' power by nominated advisory committees.

K.R. Prathapachandra Varma, BJP State secretary, said decentralisation of corruption was the net result of the People's Planning programme, leaving the common people and the State's development at the receiving end.

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