|8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<< Back to Index|
Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation
PLAN IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION
19.1.1 The success of a Plan lies in the effectiveness with which the projects and programmes are executed and the efficiency and productivity levels at which various enterprises operate. The nature and problems of implementation of large investment projects, which are mostly in the infrastructure and industry sector, differ from those of development programmes which are mostly in the field of agriculture, rural development and other social sectors. While sector-specific implementation problems are broadly covered in the respective chapters, the focus in this Chapter is on some of the common and general steps to be taken to improve efficiency in the process of formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes.
Implementation of Projects
19.2.1 Delays in project implementation not only affect their contributions to the economic growth and result in the wastage of scarce resources but also lead to a reduction in the employment potential to be generated on the completion of these projects. The timely completion of large investment projects, particularly in the infrastructure sector, is important for improving the production performance of many other sectors. A large proportion of public sector investment on projects in the Eighth Plan will be for the development of physical and social infrastructure. In the interest of overall growth and international competitiveness, it is necessary to minimise the time and cost over-run of the projects and programmes.
19.2.2 As on 1st January 1992, there were 307 Central sector projects, each costing Rs.20 crores or more with total anticipated cost of Rs.94,500 crores, which were being monitored by the Ministry of Programme Implementation. Of these, 201 projects had cost over-run with respect to the original estimates and 165 projects, to the extent of 35% in aggregate, with respect to latest approved cost. As many as 189 projects had time over-run with respect to their original schedule and 182 projects had time over-run even with respect to the latest approved schedules. Thus, about two-thirds of the major projects under implementation are facing the problems of time and cost over-run. The status of State projects, mostly in power and irrigation sectors was generally worse.
19.2.3 The factors responsible for time and cost over-runs are mainly:
Inadequate Project Formulation
19.2.4 Often, projects are found to have been poorly formulated because of inadequate field investigation, lack of adequate data, inadequate analysis or inadequate attention to environment, forest and rehabilitation aspects. Time and cost over-runs inherently get built into a poorly formulated project from the beginning, if the project parameters are not properly determined or time and cost are understated and the project, during implementation, runs into problems many of which could have been foreseen and avoided. As a result, the scope of work, equipment requirement, quantum of construction work, location and other parameters, also change. The introduction of two- stage clearance procedure introduced in 1985 for the Central sector projects costing Rs.20 crores or more in some of the important sectors was meant primarily to improve the quality of project formulation so that after the first stage clearance, the project authorities could take up detailed investigations and analysis, obtain necessary clearances such as environment and forests, get budgetary quotations and then submit a properly formulated project with reasonably firm physical and financial parameters so that later the changes in scope and design would be minimum. However, in practice, these procedures have not been adequately followed in preparing the projects.
19.2.5 During the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to enforce two-stage approval procedure, issue clear and sector- specific guidelines for project feasibility studies, strengthen the project appraisal mechanism and take up only those projects which have been properly investigated and formulated.
Investment Approval of Projects
19.2.6 The approval procedures are often long-drawn and take considerable time. In the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to identify all new projects and programmes which would be taken up during each year and work out their detailed time schedules, including their approvals by various Government agencies and from the forest and environment point of view. These schedules should take into account the required time for each agency and also the fact that some of these clearances .can be processed simultaneously rather than sequentially. Even after the investment clearance, there are a large number of clearances, often as many as 50, which a public sector project may have to seek from Government and other authorities at various levels. During the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to streamline the clearance procedures. With two-stage approval procedure, it is possible that some of these clearances, such as for land acquisition, could be processed simultaneously while the detailed feasibility report is being prepared and some funds could also be committed for acquisition of land, technology and knowhow.
19.2.7 It is also proposed to enhance the limit for delegation of powers and streamline investment approval procedures. In order to give more autonomy to public sector enterprises, powers to sanction new investments upto Rs.50 crores and replacements upto Rs. 100 crores, provided there is provision in the Plan, have been delegated to those Central enterprises which have gross block of Rs.200 crores and above and which have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government. The Public Investment Board has been reconstituted. Revised guidelines for the preparation of detailed feasibility reports, mentioned earlier, are also expected to facilitate quicker and better appraisal by providing all the required information at one place. A Data Bank on projects, appraised in the past, is being developed in the Planning Commission which is expected to help in improving the appraisal of projects. The criteria and parameters to be used for appraisal are also being re-examined. In addition, it is intended to streamline the investment approval procedures and minimise the delays in the system.
Availability of Funds
19.2.8 There is little merit in starting a number of projects without the requisite financial resources in sight. An important step in the Eighth Plan will be to attach top-most priority to the completion of on-going projects which have made significant progress in implementation and only after meeting their requirements, any commitments for new projects will be made. This will ensure accrual of benefits from the investments.
19.2.9 As far as possible, the funding pattern of the projects would need to be specified. In some sectors, such as Railways, Irrigation, etc, where there are more sanctioned projects than can be fully implemented due to the resource constraints, a strict prioritisation will have to be made for selecting the projects which can be funded fully for early completion. There is need to keep a shelf of projects ready. On the basis of past experience, it seems likely that the cost of some projects included in the Plan might increase beyond the estimates. It would be necessary, either to find more resources for them or drop them depending on their priority, economic viability and their overall social costs and benefits. Such adjustments will continue to be made at the time of the formulation of annual Plans.
Planning of Implementation and Management
19.2.10 In many cases, implementation of projects is initiated without full and detailed planning, covering the physical work effort, time required for various activities, matching of the input and equipment requirements with the availability constraints, linkages with other projects/activities, etc. There are only a few projects which have clear resource-based PERT or CPM charts specifying different areas of activity, their time phasing, the precise responsibility for different work items and the monitoring system. Inadequate time is often provided for essential preliminary activities like design, technology collaboration, calling for tenders and their evaluation. There is also unrealistic assumption as to the time required for all clearances, placement of orders, deliveries by suppliers, transportation, erection and testing. In the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to ensure detailed and realistic planning for these aspects so as to help in anticipating various problems and making provision for necessary corrective action.
19.2.11 Effective project management, including monitoring and corrective action in time will be encouraged through incentives, rewards, recognition, etc. Use of consultants for both planning and supervision of implementation as well as monitoring will need to be encouraged so as to help the project managers to improve efficiency, effectiveness and quality of implementation. The project manager will be given full autonomy and be accountable for proper project implementation and his commitment ensured through a system of incentives and disincentives.
Time and Cost Over-runs
19.2.12 There are a few elements of cost overrun, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in statutory duties or price rise due to inflation,that may be considered to be beyond the control of the project authorities. It is proposed that during the Eighth Plan, cost over-runs due to these factors should be separated and for these, the project authorities may not be required to go to the Government or the approving authorities for revised approval. However, any other cost over-run which may be due to delay, changes in scope and physical quantities of work, initial underestimation of cost, all of which are generally within the control of project authorities, may have to be fully explained in the revised cost estimates and responsibility fixed for the same before the revised cost is approved by the Government. Similarly, in the case of time over-run, if there is any delay because of Government decisions or circumstances beyond the control of project management, such as natural calamities, this should also be separated, while the other delays which are normally within the control of the project authorities, including those due to their consultants, suppliers, contractors, would need to be suitably explained in the same manner as cost over-run.
Ex-Post Evaluation of Projects
19.2.13 It is proposed to undertake case studies of some selected projects which have been completed without delay and within cost and those which have suffered time and cost over-runs. The results of these evaluation studies are to be utilised for improving the formulation, appraisal, planning and implementation of projects in future.
Efficiency in Operation
19.2.14 While efficiency during implementation and construction of projects lies in minimising the time and cost over-runs and completion of projects as per specifications, the efficiency of operation relates to the achievement of the physical targets of production of goods and services of quality with minimum cost of operation. Efficiency of operation should inter-alia help to generate the desired financial surpluses which can then be invested in other projects and development programmes. The main areas for operational efficiency would be as follows:
Management Consultancy Development
19.2.15 Many public sector organisations, including public utilities, have already set up efficiency and productivity improvement norms and in-house management consultancy units. During the Seventh Plan, the in-house management consultancy units set up in three State Electricity Boards i.e., U.P., M.P. and Tamil Nadu, on a pilot basis, have demonstrated the usefulness of such services in identifying and analysing management problems besides serving as an effective in-house problem solving mechanism and creating better efficiency environment in the respective organisations. Following the encouraging results, three more in-house management consultancy groups have been established in Punjab State Electricity Board and A.P and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporations. Similar in-house services can be established by large public utilities which require management improvement. These efforts towards inhouse problem solving and efficiency improvement will be encouraged. In addition, the management consultancy profession will need to be developed with adequate training and other inputs, so as to provide required inputs for improving management of projects and programmes at all levels. Voluntary professional bodies like the Institute of Management Consultants of India (IMCI) can play a useful role in the orderly development of management consultancy profession in the country.
Implementation of Programmes
19.3.1 A majority of development programmes in sectors such as agriculture, rural development, social welfare, health and education, etc. involve inputs in the form of manpower, implements, credit, etc. apart from some construction of buildings etc. Most of these programmes are people/beneficiary oriented and involve efforts at local/area levels for effective implementation without leakages in the delivery system.
19.3.2 The main deficiencies in the implementation of these programmes have been:
19.3.3 During the Eighth Plan, it is proposed to initiate a number of steps to overcome these deficiencies and to ensure effective implementation of the programmes, achievement of targets and realisation of intended benefits by the beneficiaries. Some of these are as follows:
Project and Programme Sustainahility
19.3.4 In addition to effective implementation of the projects and programmes, it is also necessary to make adequate provision for ensuring their sustainability so that the intended benefits in the form of goods and services and coverage of beneficiaries are, in fact, generated with required quality, variou.s as.iets created are adequately maintained and the anticipated life of the projects and programmes is achieved. To ensure proper sustainabiiity of projects and programmes, following aspects may be considered:
i. The project/programme design should include the parameters which bring out clearly as to how the project output in the form of goods and services will be sustained during its operation, how various assets will be maintained and quality ensured. The project/programme costs should include both the capital components as well as operating and maintenance components required for sustaining the output.
ii. The appraisal of projects and programmes, should cover the sustainability aspects.* Criteria should be developed for this pur- ' pose covering physical, organisational and other aspects. Viability calculations should include relevant operation and maintenance requirements and costs for this purpose, even if these are on non-plan side. It should also be analysed at this stage as to how these costs would be funded and whether there is any possibility of project/programme authorities generating adequate resources for operating and maintaining the projects/programmes through user charges, etc.
iii. While analysing the project design and parameters, it should be ensured that there is market and demand for the goods and services to be produced at the price or the user-charges proposed and that there will be adequate provision made in the project design for extension, marketing, transportation and other requirements to ensure that the project output reaches the targetted beneficiaries and users as intended. The interaction with the beneficiaries during project or programme formulation can help in incorporating the sustainability aspects in the project design.
iv. Effective monitoring and evaluation aspects to ensure sustainability should be built into each project design as well as during the implementation stage of a project/programme.
19.3.5 Construction is a general term which covers various forms of activities ranging from small house construction to large buildings, from small rural works to large mining and industrial complexes, from village roads to national highways and railways, from tiny irrigation works to large dams and power projects and from onshore drilling to construction of offshore platforms. Construction can be looked at as a system in which the participants are many and varied, including Government agencies, private organisations or individuals/households, architects, engineers, consultants, contractors, material suppliers, manpower suppliers and trainers, software suppliers, R and D institutions and finally, the construction workers. All these participants have to work together, in partnership, to make construction efficient and cost-effective and at the same time consistent with social justice to construction workers who are by and large unorganised.
19.3.6 Implementation of both the projects and the programmes involves construction. In fact, about 40 to 50% of the Plan outlay on projects and programmes is estimated to be for construction. Similarly, about half of the gross capital formation in the economy, after excluding inventory increases, is on account of construction, the balance being due to plant and machinery. At the same time, this activity not only provides significant employment but also accounts for the highest rate of growth of employment in the past decade. The growth rate of employment in construction during 1977-78 to 1987-88 has been about 10% as compared to about 2% for all sectors put together. The success of Plan implementation would, therefore, be determined largely by the efficiency and effectiveness with which construction activities are undertaken.
19.3.7 The problems relating to diverse construction activities are naturally varied and multifarious. However, there are some common problems and thrust areas which require specific attention during the Eighth Plan. Some of these problem areas and issues are discussed below.
19.3.8 Labour engaged in construction works is unorganised and mobile from one construction site to another. Their children cannot attend a school. Not having a regular address, they cannot have a ration card and are thus deprived of the benefits of public distribution system. A Tripartite Working Committee on Building and Construction Industry, set up by the Ministry of Labour in February 1985, has been looking into the problems of construction labour. As of date, nearly a score of labour laws are applicable to construction sites, but none of these laws is fully implemented or followed even in essentials. A comprehensive legislation covering construction labour is proposed to be introduced in the Eighth Plan with effective machinery for ensuring its implementation so that the employment and working conditions of construction labour can improve. If necessary, a cess may be levied on contracts above a certain value to provide fpr a Construction Labour Welfare Fund. Ways have to be found to extend the benefits of Public Distribution System to construction workers and to all such other workers who do not have a fixed abode. Special arrangements by way of mobile schools may have to be made for the schooling of children of construction workers.'
Construction Training and Technology
19.3.9 Institutionalised training in construction trades is almost non-existent. At present, out of about 15,000 seats for technical training offered in the country, not even 1% is for construction trades. Special efforts are necessary to develop programmes of training in construction trades, which may range from short training programmes of ITI's standard and higher level training in designing, planning and material management with emphasis on low- cost high quality construction.
19.3.10 As mentioned earlier, construction accounts for nearly half of the capital formation in the economy and therefore, it affects the cost of production in almost all the sectors of the economy. Low-cost construction is the only answer to the housing needs of the millions. There is a need for judicious mix of labour-intensive and mechanised technology, depending on the nature of the project complexity, quality and other factors. Wherever modern technology promises to cut down costs and delays in construction, it should be used, particularly for complex and highly capital-intensive projects. Even in areas like mass housing for weaker sections, mechanised and pre- fabricated construction can bring down costs. Labour-intensive methods may be more suitable in other areas, especially rural works.
19.3.11 In most projects, materials account for about two thirds of the construction cost. It is, therefore, essential to assess and plan for requirements of essential materials. Use of new materials, many of which are proven, has to be encouraged. In particular, the use of fly ash bricks and other low-cost, locally available construction materials has to be increased manifold in order to help solve environment related problems associated with fly ash disposal as well as reduce the cost of construction. Use of materials like timber, which have environment implications, needs to be discouraged. Efficiency, productivity and energy conservation in use as well as production of construction materials have to be encouraged. There has to be a continuing search for cheaper materials. Research, development and standardization efforts related to construction industry user requirements need to be intensified.
19.3.12 A major part of the construction work is carried out through contractors. However, contract management is a neglected area. There is need to standardize and develop a fair and equitable contract document which should provide adequate incentives for completion of jobs on or before schedule and disincentives for delays. Works manuals of engineering departments have to be revised. As already indicated, the use of modern techniques such as PERT, CPM, Value Engineering, Workstudy etc. need to be incorporated in contracts. The system of prequalification needs to be streamlined. Two or three part bids (technical, commercial, price) from qualified bidders could be introduced to eliminate delays and other problems. Use of consultants in construction planning, management and monitoring can be useful in making construction management more effective.
19.3.13 Overseas construction projects have emerged as an important area of economic aci-tivity. It is estimated that overseas construction work to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crores has been executed by Indian companies so far, mainly in the Middle East, Africa, South-east Asia, Far East and Pacific regions. Despite some uncertainties in the neighbouring countries today, the medium-term potential is large and two factors coming in the way are: (a) technology and (b) manpower quality and management. Both these areas require special attention if the Indian companies have to sucessfully compete in the international market.
Main Thrust in Construction
19.3.14 The main thrust in the construction sector in the Eighth Plan will, therefore, be on efficiency, cost reduction, timeliness, quality on the one hand, and increased employment and greater welfare of construction workers on the other.
Management Information System
19.3.15 During the Seventh Plan, a large network of computers - NICNET - was established .-with a national centre at New Delhi and four * regional computer centres, besides centres in all States, Union Territories and district headquarters. All these are interconnected through satellite and the terminals connect all major Government departments in the Central and State Governments. This network operated by the National Informatics Centre(NIC), provides the hardware and software support for the data bases at every level and for interchange of information with a view to improving operations and management.
19.3.16 It is proposed to develop information system and databases at national, State, UT's, district and block levels in important Plan areas and economic activities during the Eighth Plan.
19.3.17 The range and spread of informatics, being developed has special relevance for the thrust on decentralised planning which is the cornerstone of rural development in the Eighth Plan. Two points are relevant in this context. First, the reliability of information is a major desideratum and the information system has, therefore, to improve the collection of primary data, much of which flows from the administrative system. With the decentralization of the administration and of the services delivery system, there is need for a link up between the new delivery system and data collection, through and for them. Secondly, with the availability and networking of variegated information system together with details such as are not available fr and m satellite imagery interpretation, decentralized planning can now be taken up on a scientific basis.
19.3.18 On a sectoral or industry level, efforts have already been initiated to develop management information systems at the enterprise and sector level. A beginning was made with a common data base developed for the power sectors. Similar formats need to be evolved for all sectors. This will avoid multiple reports, reduce paper work and facilitate consistency checks and at the same time make available online data as per requirements. It will minimise delays as well as enable processing and analysis of data speedily as per requirements. An inter-ministerial Committee has recently examined the monitoring system with regard to central public sector enterprises which have signed Memoranda of Understanding. The Committee has suggested streamlining, common data collection, reduced paper work, etc.
19.3.19 During the Seventh Plan, a monthly "Flash Report" monitoring system was introduced for all Central sector projects costing over Rs. 100 crores to enable a top level review by the Government. Separate systems were established for other Central projects and for the monitoring of the 20-Point Programme and infrastructure performance. A separate Ministry of Programme Implementation was also estab-lised for monitoring tasks. Of late, the monitoring system at various levels has got into a stereotyped mechanism, handling routine information. During the Eighth Plan, efforts will be made to evolve a system of regular flow of relevant information to make monitoring an effective tool of management action at all levels. At present, too many agencies demand data from the source agencies. Availability of data in a common data base in the system, which is accessible to various user agencies, can n-Juce such pressures on in-source agencies.
Performance and Efficiency Improvement in Public Sector Enterprises (PSE.s)
19.4.1 Over the last four decades massive investments have been made in the Central public sector enterprises(PSEs). Growth of the public sector was phenomenal in terms of number, investment, production and range of activities. The number of Centra! PSEs rose from 5 in 1951 to 246 by the end of March 1991, and investment from Rs.29 Crores to Rs. 1,13,234 mires during the same period.
19.4.2 A sustained and continuing effort for improving the performance of all PSEs and realising the objectives for which they were set up is required. A major desideratum is the improvement of management, which calls for increased delegation of powers for fast decision-making, management by professionals and specialists and increased distancing of Government administration from the PSEs, subject to certain essential safeguards to ensure "accountability". The introduction of the concept of Memorandum of Understanding is meant to develop prope. relationship between the government and PSEs.
19.4.3 The main administrative tasks and the need for administrative improvements in the Government system at different levels have been highlighted in successive Plan documents. The Second Plan document brought out the need for speedy, efficient and economic methods of work, objective evaluation of methods and results, local community action, public participation, provision of incentives and opportunities for creative service and training of Government personnel. Many Committees and other bodies have looked into the requirements for improving the administration. The Administrative Reforms Commission in the sixties made comprehensive recommendations covering wide areas. However, the situation today is not very different from what prevailed at the beginning of the planning in the country and not many positive achievements appear to have been made in improving the administrative system.
19.4.4 The main thrust in the Eighth Plan in this area would be on initiating some basic improvements in the administrative system so as to (a) increase efficiency and reduce public expenditure and (b) considerably improve the services to the people. The important aspects to be considered in this regard are as follows;
19.4.5 The role of training as an important input in the process of economic development has been recognised in successive Five Year Plans. There are several institutions, organisations and agencies engaged in imparting training at various levels. Apart from the funds provided for the training component in the Plan programme;, in different sectors, a separate scheme on Training for Development was initiated in the Fifth Plan. It has been continued during the Sixth and the Seventh Plans. Under the Scheme, a number of specially designed training programmes for the personnel engaged in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of various plan projects and schemes in the Central and State Governments as well as public sector undertakings have been organised every year. During the Eighth Plan, the scheme will continue and cover the activities relating to training programmes, research and publication support to State and Central institutions. Alongwith the emphasis on the training programmes per-se, more efforts are necessary to provide support services to the Central and the State training institutions.
19.4.6 To support decentralised planning, a new scheme of Training for Decentralised Planning is envisaged under the Plan. This Central scheme will provide requisite support for the State and sub-State level institutions, including faculty support, training equipment, training material and required soft-ware etc. It is also envisaged that each State Government will undertake schemes for the development of necessary training infrastructure at the district and sub-district levels. The main focal points for the training effort for decentralisation will be the State Administrative Training Institutes (ATI) which, in collaboration with other institutions, will undertake the apex training effort, particularly for training of trainers, development of training materials, etc. It is also proposed to introduce training by distant learning methods in order to cover vast numbers involved. These activities will be coordinated with the training efforts to be undertaken through the State Institutes of Rural Development and other State, sub-State, district and sub-district level institutions as part of training under various rural development programmes. National institutions like the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), etc. are expected to perform the functions of nodal institutions to support the training for decentralisation. The Training Division in the Department of Personnel and Training will coordinate with other Ministries in this training effort.
19.4.7 Other Plan training schemes, relating to strengthening and modernisation of training facilities in national institutions such as LBSNAA, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) etc., setting up of a National Institute of Financial Management and training of the staff of civil accounts departments etc., most of which are ongoing schemes, will be continued.
19.4.8 There is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of the training programmes both under the Plan as well as non- Plan, of different organisations and examine as to what extent the training has been helpful to the personnel in better performance of their tasks. Where necessary, the training programmes should be reoriented and remodelled, so as to make these cost-effective and provide desired inputs for improving the effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. Voluntary professional organisations like the Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) are also expected to play an important role in the promotion and improvement of training effectiveness.
19.4.9 An outlay of Rs.47 crores has been provided in the Eighth Plan for training and other related schemes.
Strengthening of Planning Machinery in States
19.4.10 The Planning Commission has been providing assistance to the States to strengthen the planning machinery at the State and district levels. The scheme of Strengthening of Planning Machinery provides for Central assistance to the extent of2/3rd of expenditure on planning staff at the State level and 50% of expenditure on planning staff at the District Icve!. Apart from strengthening of planning machinery, it is also felt that, in order to achieve the objective of decentralised planning, certain model plans should be prepared to provide guidance to the district level authorities.
19.5.1 Feed-back through evaluation results is an important requirement for assessing the performance, comparing the intended with the actual operations and using this information to guide the future line of action.
19.5.2 The importance of evaluation for timely and continuous feed-back in the planning process was realised as early as 1952, when the Programme Evaluation Organisation (PEO) was set up. Although, in the beginning, the PEO'was more concerned with the evaluation of Community Development and other allied programmes, its role and range of activities widened over the successive Plan periods. Evaluation organisations were also set up in the States during the Third and the Fourth Plans. At present, evaluation machinery exists in one form or the other in almost every major State of the country.
19.5.3 The role of evaluation during the Eighth Plan will be more challenging. Development during the Eighth Plan will largely be achieved by a process which entails " operation by the people and cooperation by the Government' in the formulation and implementation of the Plans and the programmes through a system of open and democratic decision- making. Naturally, therefore, the evaluation process and the organisations will have to be suitably streamlined and made more effective both in qualitative and quantitative terms. The programmes of national importance, such as poverty alleviation, health and family welfare, rural drinking water supply, elementary and adult education, public distribution system, and elimination of scavenging, will be evaluated by the PEO. The PEO may also associate the State Evaluation Organisations and other research and academic institutions for taking up studies of regional and local importance, besides those innovative in nature. An Evaluation Advisory Committee is proposed to be set up with relevant expertise. This Committee will be consulted on the studies to be taken up, methodologies to be adopted, and linkages to be established with evaluation, research, and academic institutions.
19.6.1 With a view to providing a sound statistical base and developing a system of continuous flow of information, the Planning Commission had constituted two Committees, namely (i) Standing Committee for Improvement of Data Base for Planning and Policy Making and (ii) Standing Committee for Improvement of Data Base for Decentralised sectors, consisting of members from Government and non-Government organisations.
19.6.2 A notable development has been the conduct of Economic Census (EC) and the follow-up surveys, starting from 1977, to filiup the vital data gaps relating to the unorganised segments of the economy. While the Economic Census provides basic macro details and a frame of enterprises in the country, the follow-up surveys, which are carried out on a sample basis, go into the details about the structure, investment, employment, receipts and expenditure and several other aspects. Reliable information on the unorganised segments in the sectors of manufacturing, trade, transport, hotels and restaurants, storage and warehousing and services are thus made available. As rapid changes generally take place in the structure of the unorganised segments of the economy, it is necessary to repeat such economic censuses and follow-up surveys at regular intervals, say, five years to capture these changes. The first Economic Census was carried out in 1977, the second in 1980, and the third in 1990. Keeping in view the need for minimising delays in the tabulation and dis-semination of the results of the Economic Census and also to get uptodate frame of enterprises for follow-up surveys, steps have been taken to decentralise processing of Economic Census data with active participation of the Directorates of Economics and Statistics of the States and UTs. The follow-up surveys based on EC 1990 will be continued during the Eighth Plan with increased sample size for estimation of survey results at State and UT levels.
19.6.3 Statistics pertaining to manufacturing industries in the registered factory sector are collected on statutory basis through the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) for which the field operations are conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation. The Central Statistical Organisation in addition to processing of data and publication of the results of ASI, is responsible for sample design and estimation procedures, issue of policy guidelines, clarification of concepts, definitions and classification of production units to the field staff engaged in ASI.
19.6.4 In view of the increased emphasis on decentralised planning, new schemes have been provided in the Eighth Plan for the preparation of estimates of gross fixed capital formation, private final consumption expenditure and input-output tables at State levels. Higher priority is being given to build up estimates of important components of national income and related aggregates broken up into rural and urban sectors.
19.6.5 A major problem relating to the ^statistical system in recent years has been the excessive delays in processing and publication of data. Data are useful only when available in time. disadvantaged groups have been identified. The During the Eighth Plan, special attention will be Eighth Plan will make special attempt to evolve paid to speedier processing and publication of a system for building up useful information on quality data at disaggregated levels. Certain these areas with regular periodicity. An outlay crucial gaps in the statistical systems of housing, of Rs. 106 crores has been provided in the Eighth environment, services, social development and Plan for Statistical schemes.
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