Punjab government has set up a development commission to help deliver its big ticket projects, on lines of Centre’s NITI Aayog — a repository of research on good governance and best practises in sustainable and equitable development.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had made several promises in the run up to the Assembly elections in state in 2022. The Punjab Development Commission (PDC) will help with policy making, good governance and delivery of those projects. These include schools of eminence and Aam Aadmi Clinics.
The six member PDC will have a chairperson and and a vice chairperson apart from four members. The government has already appointed Seema Bansal, earlier with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as its vice-chairperson. The BCG is helping the state government as a consulting firm for agriculture development.
Sources said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is yet to finalise the name of the chairperson. The appointment, however, would be done shortly, a source told The Indian Express. A source said, “The PDC will work on the priority areas. It will work on focus areas by way of data mining and analysis, policy making and implementation. It is on the lines of NITI Aayog of Government of India. Punjab is going to have a commission for the first time.”
A functionary said that the previous Captain Amarinder Singh government had also set up a Governance Cell under which 22 governance fellows were appointed for 22 districts and 11 for the state. A private university was helping the government then. However, it could not start functioning at that time. This PDC is now taking that Governance Cell to a new level.”
He said that the PDC would look into all important aspects of development in Punjab with agriculture being the priority area, “We are in the process of getting an agriculture policy so that the farmers are no more in distress. The policy needs to be formulated in such a way that we can show a way to the farmers. We know how many challenges the farmers, the governments are facing while growing woodgrains for the rest of the country. Punjab has its own concerns like drying up of aquifers, degradation of environment and pesticides,” the official added.