"Detailed consultations have been held with experts and economists and within the Planning Commission itself on its restructuring," Modi said on Friday in his first intervention during question hour in the Lok Sabha.

"We are just taking forward this process of giving shape to a new body," he added. The Prime Minister made his intervention on a question listed by Vincent H. Pala (Congress) and Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress), both of whom were absent as they had boycotted proceedings over the continuation of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in the union council of ministers.

Indeed, it was the first time since his maiden address to the nation on the Independence Day that Modi has spoken on the need to reshape the Planning Commission.

Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said last week that the commission will continue to perform its mandate till a new organisation replaces it.

The Planning Commission was conceived by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who thought India's goals and objectives can be best addressed with a planned economy, an idea he borrowed from the then Soviet Union. Accordingly, it was formed March 15, 1950, and with it were born the Five-Year Plans, which went into formulation from 1951.

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