Performance of Advisor to State Planning Board in Odisha
Since several years, State Govt. has deliberately kept State Planning Board non-functional in Odisha. To satisfy their party leaders, the State Govt. has appointed in 2009 Sri Surendra Nayak, former Minister and Sri G. Bhaskar Roy, BJD leader in 2015 as Vice-chairman of the Board. These vice-chairman have never conducted a single meeting of the Board. The meeting of State Planning Board has not been held since 8 years.
However, on 13.11.2014, the State Govt. appointed Sri R.N.Das, retired bureaucrat as advisor to State Planning Board, Odisha when there is no functioning of the Board. It is very interesting to be noted here that State Planning Board has not been constituted till yet.
Now, the question comes, whom the advisor is giving advice when there is no planning board. To make an query about performance of Advisor to State Planning Board, Application was filed to the PIO, Dept. of Planning and Convergence, Govt. of Odisha seeking information about his appointment, work entrusted to , his performance as Advisor in the state. On dated 7.10.16, the PIO has provided the following information.
1. The State Govt. vide resolution no. 14834/P, Bhubaneswar, dt. 13.11.2014 appointed Shri R.N.Das, former secretary to Govt. of India as Advisor to the State Planning Board. He will focus on Skills Mission, food production, Food Security Mission and shelter etc.
2. The information was sought about copy of the documents relating to advice, if any given by him to State Govt. But the PIO has declined to provide that document. Rather he has provided two-page note on advice given to different Dept. The gist of the note is as follows.
a. Agriculture Dept. has been advised for long term arrangements to be made for timely supply of certified seeds to the farmers for paddy, oilseeds like mustard and groundnuts , special initiative for production of sufficient quantity of certified seeds inside the state.
b. He has conducted meeting with Secretary and other officials of MSME, ET &ET, IT and PR Departments. Besides that meetings have been held with private organisations such as the IL & FS, and L& T which are engaged in implementing skill development programme with a view to expanding their activities in this regard.
c. Rural housing/ shelter progress of implementation in the districts has been monitored from time to time. The advisor also visists different districts to review the development activities and implementation of different schemes of Govt. by the collectors.
d. Revamping the planning proess both at state level ad distriuct level with the objective to make it more professional ad people’s oriented, the Govt. has constituted a committee to suggest comprehensive measures to strengthen planning process and institutional arrangements. The Advisor has been appointed as Chairman of the committee.
3. The Advisor has been provided free accommodation, four-wheeler, personal staff, telephone, refreshment, periodical charges, stationary articles etc. He has not received salary and allowances till yet. In July, 2016, the State Govt. has paid Rs. 13,70,000/- towards medical expenses and payment of Air Ambulance for his treatment.