Centrally sponsored schemes, or CCSs, have been taking a lot of heat recently. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has accused the government of using centrally sponsored schemes to meddle in states’ affairs. Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi agrees. Even the Planning Commission, in its approach paper to the twelfth plan, admits that CSSs have been plagued by “poor implementation, duplication, lack of convergence and suboptimal results.” (Though we imagine the authors of the report would disagree with Kumar and Modi on whose fault this is.) As reluctant as we are to agree with a person like Modi, he and Kumar are right –the profusion of centrally sponsored schemes not only erodes state’s rights but also hinders development. The confusing morass of government policies that are centrally sponsored schemes is in drastic need of a good pruning.
Excerpt from our piece published on livemint