BANGALORE: Minister for Planning and Sericulture Ramachandra Gowda on Thursday advocated giving statutory powers to the State Planning Board on the lines of the Planning Commission.
This would help all departments to implement programmes for poverty alleviation and development of backward regions in a fixed timeframe, he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating a workshop for chief planning officers and district statistics officers, organised here by the Department of Economics and Statistics.
Mr. Gowda released the evaluation study report on self-help groups under Stree-Shakti/Swa-Shakti in Karnataka - 2004 and Karnataka at a glance 2005-06. The latter has information on a number of infrastructure and socio-economic indicators.
The Minister said while the Planning Commission could implement programmes, the board had no such powers. The work of the board based on extensive research, assessment and compilation of information by its officers all over the State would be a waste.
He likened the board's work to that of a radiographer who took an x-ray that would help the doctor in prescribing a cure. Other departments should study the board's reports for improving the standard of living of the poor.
He said that he would take up the issue of upgrading the board to the level of a commission with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
He wanted Mr. Kumaraswamy to write to all Ministers and senior officers of various departments to discuss the Human Development Report brought out by his department.
Mr. Gowda said that he would shortly constitute taluk-level planning units. Planning should be decentralised to the gram panchayat level.
The Minister, who was a councillor of the Bangalore City Corporation three decades ago, felt that it was time Bangalore was decongested.
For that to happen, he said, other cities such as Mysore, Tumkur, Shimoga, Hubli, Belgaum, Karwar, Kushalnagar and Davangere should be developed and a few of them provided with airports.
Kushalnagar and Hassan should have rail connectivity, he added.
The Minister felicitated Malathi Das, who retired recently as Chief Secretary. Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) Neeraja Rajkumar spoke about the contributions of the Planning Department.
Director of Economic and Statistics B. Prasannaiah welcomed the gathering.
The Karnataka Human Development Report 2005 could be accessed by visiting http://planning.kar.nic.in/khdr2005/eindex.htm in English and http://planning.kar.nic.in/khdr2005/kindex.htm in Kannada.
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