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Kamal Nath slams Planning Commission news
06 July 2010

Road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath slammed the  Planning Commission yesterday calling it an ''armchair adviser'' with no accountability or target.

He blamed the commission for the tardy progress on development of highway infrastructure and said when he took charge of the ministry, he had been warned by "everybody" that the panel would not allow him to achieve his ambitious target of building 20km of highways a day.

"Producing a book is one thing, while building a road is something different. You collect something from here and there and then produce a book. It's very well when you are an armchair adviser," Nath said at a conclave on private participation in state highways, organised by the Planning Commission.

Deputy chairman of the Planning Commision, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who was at the dais with Nath, however, preferred not to be drawn into a verbal duel and termed Nath's outburst  as ''constructive criticism''. He said the commission was not an implementing agency.

Nath's attack on the Plan panel at a public event has come as a surprise to many. According to observers, though there have been several standoffs between the Plan panel deputy chief and ministers, a public face-off had never taken place before.

Squarely blaming the slow progress in the highway sector on the Planning Commission, Nath said when the PM inaugurated T-3 at IGIA, he asked an involved official as to how they could manage do the great job and he was told that it was possible because the Planning Commission people had nothing to do with it.

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Kamal Nath slams Planning Commission