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Plan panel seeks foreign hand to focus rural schemes news
10 October 2009

The United Progressive Alliance government plans to rope in the World Bank and the Department for International Development to help the Planning Commission ensure that its flagship schemes for the poorer sections of society are implemented in a transparent and effective manner.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told newspersons in New Delhi on Friday that the commission is also finalising a proposal to set up an independent evaluation organisation (IEO) to assess the extent to which the government's schemes are benefiting the poor.

Lakhs of crores are being spent by the centre on these schemes; but it is well known that their implementation is riddled with holes, so that most of its benefits are dissipated in corruption. "We are working towards the establishment of an IEO to strengthen our evaluation system," said.

The structure of IEO, details of which would be released next month, would come up for discussion at the International Conference on Development Evaluation to be held on Monday, Ahluwalia said.

"We will gain from experiences internationally during the two-day conference. We will pool the international experiences with our own and get some state level experiences, which will help us find out what kind of evaluation system we should have," he added.

On IEO's functioning, Ahluwalia said, "There are 150 welfare schemes including 15 flagship schemes. The IEO will pick up eight or 10 or 12 schemes for assessment. The details are being worked out."

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Plan panel seeks foreign hand to focus rural schemes