Kerala State Planning Board (KSPB) is an advisory board under the Kerala Government. The KSPB was constituted for the first time in September 1967 with Chief Minister as Chairman and a non-official as part time Vice-Chairman. Apart from Minister for Finance and Chief Secretary to the Government, there were three full time members. The Director, Bureau of Economics and Statistics, was Member Secretary. The Board was formed with a view to enable the State Government to formulate development plans based on a scientific assessment of the resources of the State in the one hand and the growth priorities on the other. The Board was also entrusted with the task of bringing out a comprehensive economic review report of the state every year. The term of the Board is customarily five years analogous with the term of the ruling Government. Since 1967 the Board has been reconstituted 15 times. The Board, through its expertise, facilitates good planning and better implementation of development schemes/ projects in the State.
Present Board (2016)
The present Board was reconstituted in the year 2016 after the assumption of Office by the new State Government. The structure and composition of the Board is as given below.
Chairman Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister
Vice Chairman Dr.V.K. Ramachandran
1 Sri. E. Chandrasekharan, Minister for Revenue & Housing.
2 Adv. Mathew T. Thomas, Minister for Water Resources.
3 Sri. A. K. Saseendran, Minister for Transport.
4 Sri .Ramachandran Kadannappalli, Minister for Ports, Museum, Archaeology & Archives
5 Dr. T. M. Thomas Isac, Minister for Finance.
6 Sri. T. Jayaraman, Professor, School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
7 Sri. R. Ramakumar, Professor & Dean, School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
8 Sri. Jayan Jose Thomas, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
9 Sri. K. N. Harilal, Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
10 Dr. B. Ekbal, Kazhuvelil House, Arppookkara East, Kottayam-686008.
11 Dr. K. Raviraman, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi.
12 Dr. Mridul Eappen, Honorary Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
13. Dr. Vishwas Mehta, IAS.
14. Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala.
15. Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Government of Kerala.
The members are nominated from time to time by the Government. The earlier Board Members comprised of Minister for Finance, Minister for Home& Tourism, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Animal Husbandry, Minister for Transport, Minister for Works and Minister for Water Resources. In addition to this, there were 5 non official members also. Besides these Members, there were ex-officio Members and special invitees. The Board members facilitate discussions on various issues and problems connected with plan formulation, implementation, and policy matters of the Government.
The Member Secretary is the head of the institution and also acts as official Member of the Board, who is responsible for convening Board meetings, and carrying out the implementation of the Board decisions, through the departments and agencies concerned. The Chiefs of the Technical Divisions who are experts in the sectors & its developmental issues, provide support to the Member Secretary in Technical matters. The Administrative Officer assists the Member Secretary in administrative matters. Dr. Anuradha Balaram, IES was the Member Secretary of the State Planning Board from 7th August 2013 to 6th April 2015 and Dr. Alok Sheel, IAS was the Member Secretary from 6th April 2015 to 31st May 2016. Sri. V. S. Senthil took over charge as the Member Secretary of the board on 2nd June 2016.
Chief Economic Adviser
Chief Economic Adviser has been appointed by Government in the year 2012 to advice the Board on policy matters and other subjects that are considered by the Planning Board. Dr. Anuradha Balaram I E S was holding the post of Chief Economic Adviser from 13 August 2012 to 06 April 2015.
Director, Project Financing Cell (PFC)
A Project Financing Cell has been constituted in the Planning Board by Government in May 2012 to examine the feasibility of outside funding, including Public Private Participation for all projects of the state. Dr. Anuradha Balaram IES was the Director, PFC, from 13th August, 2012 to 6th April 2015. Smt. Gayatri Nair, IES is holding the post of Director since July 8th 2015.
Kerala State Planning Board comprise of (a) Administrative Wing (b) Technical Divisions (c) Library and (d) District Planning Offices. Besides these, Project Financing Cell is also part of the administrative structure of the Planning Board at present. All the functions of the State Planning Board are carried out through its Technical Divisions and each Division is headed by a Chief who is an expert on developmental issues. There are Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Research Officers and Research Assistants to assist the Chief in each Division. The Administrative Officer assists the Member Secretary in administrative matters.
There are seven Technical Divisions in the Planning Board to carry out all the technical functions of the Board. They are:
The important functions of each Technical Division are detailed elsewhere on the site.
Administrative wing is headed by the Senior Administrative Officer and it consists of Establishment, Accounts, Fair Copy, Computer, Publication, and Plan Publicity Sections. Administrative Assistant and Finance Officer are in charge of Establishment and Accounts Sections. Senior Superintendents are in charge of Fair Copy and Computer Sections while Publication Officer and Plan Publicity Officer manage respectively Publication and Plan Publicity Sections.
District Planning Offices
The District Planning units were established in late 70’s for decentralized participatory planning. District Planning Offices function under the guidance of Planning Board and they are under the control of the District Collector. Initially IAS officers were posted as District Planning Officers in 6 districts and for the remaining 8 districts, the District Planning Officers were identified from the Senior Officers in the different Government Departments through a competitive test and interview by the Screening Committee appointed by the Government and appointed on deputation basis. The District Planning Officers have been designated as Ex-Officio Personal Assistant to the District Collector and Secretary to the District Development Council. District Planning Offices play a key role in formulation of District Plan schemes and monitoring the implementation.
Kerala State Planning Board Library
The State Planning Board Library is one of the best Libraries managed by any Government institutions in the State. It is in the category of special library with large number of titles in the areas such as economic development, planning, finance, management, Gender studies, Industry, Indian Economics, national /world development reports, World Bank reports etc. Plan Working Group reports, Evaluation Studies, Expert Committee Reports etc., published by Planning are also available. There are a total collection of more than 20,000 books.
IT Wing in the State Planning Board was formed in 1999 vide GO (Rt) No.113/99/Plg dt.04.03.99, with the objective to enhance the modernization of State Planning Board and to induce Information Technology. As per the GO (Rt) No.113/99/Plg dt.04.03.99, the posts of Consultant, System Analyst, Programmer, LD Clerk and Attender were sanctioned. The Chief of Plan Co-ordination Division is presently in charge of IT Wing with the support of Programmer, Technical Consultant and an IT Nodal Officer.
Project Financing Cell
A Project Financing Cell has been constituted in the Planning Board vide GO(Ms) No.20/12/Plg dated 04.05.2012, to examine the feasibility of outside funding, including Public Private Participation for all projects of the state, with a Project Director as the head.
Functions of State Planning Board
Continuous assessment of the progress of the State’s economy, its prospects and problems and suggest reforms & changes in the policies, priorities and programmes as may be necessary.
Suggestions on all economic and development policy matters and on individual projects, programmes & schemes.
Formulation of Five Year and Annual Plans for the State and monitor and evaluate their implementation.
Suggest measures for improving performance of public enterprises with special concern in enhancing quality of service to the people, productivity and generation of surplus for development.
Decentralized Planning & Development and enhancing local & public participation in the projects.
Undertaking studies, surveys and researches, as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the functions, through taskforces, expert committees & working groups which include eminent research institutions/consultants.
Preparation of Economic Review of the State every year.
Preparation of Economic Review
The Board was assigned the task of preparing Annual Economic Review to be presented along with the Budget Document to the State legislature at the time of its inception. The first Economic Review was published 1959 prior to the constitution of State Planning Board. After the constitution of the Board the Economic Review is regularly being prepared and published by the Planning Board. 50 earlier issues of the Economic Review (1959 to 2009) has been digitised and published in 2010. The Economic review is considered as a valuable reference text as it gives an overall view of the state economy, macro economic performance, development initiatives taken by various departments during that particular year, progress in the plan implementation etc.
Formulation of Annual Plan
The Planning Board is responsible for the formulation of the State Five Year/Annual Plans. Every year, towards the end of September or early October the Planning Commission calls for schematic proposals for the next year’s Annual Plan. A number of formats are prescribed by the Planning Commission for this purpose. The State departments are required to provide the details in theses format. An exercise is done to assess the resources available for the Annual Plan so as to fix the size of the Plan. The Planning Board issues circular instructions to all Secretaries to Government and Head of Departments for submission of Annual Plan proposals to the Board. It is the responsibility of the Administrative Departments in the Secretariat to obtain the approval of the Minister concerned for the plan proposals.
The Plan proposals from all Departments shall reach the Planning Board by November. The schematic proposals are appraised in the Board and tentative selection priorities are allowed based on the detailed discussions with the Secretaries and Heads of Departments in regard to the proposals of each department. In these discussions the past performance of the Departments the potential to spend next year, etc. are critically appraised and the plan outlay provisionally fixed taking into account the total resources expected for the plan and the financial and physical targets set out in the Five Year Plan. The Planning Board then prepares the draft Annual Plan proposals which are placed before the Board/ Cabinet for approval. The draft proposal after approval by the Cabinet is sent to the Planning Commission for approval.
The draft Annual Plan proposals are discussed during November/December at Delhi by Working Groups set up by the Planning Commission consisting of representatives of the concerned Central Ministries, Planning Commission and the State Government. The draft proposal and the Annual Plan outlay are finalised in the meeting between the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. The Planning Board Communicates the final outlay to the concerned Departments and in consultation with them the schematic allocations are finalised and transmitted to the Finance Department for the preparation of State’s Annual Budget.
Effective planning is the foundation for achieving developmental outcomes. There is a well-established plan monitoring mechanism right from the State level to the District level.