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Leftists in Plan panel threaten to quit

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September 21, 2004 16:02 IST

Left economists in various committees of the Planning Commission on Tuesday threatened to resign if the government did not reconsider the decision to include foreign experts in consultations for the Mid-Term Appraisal of the Tenth Plan.

"If the government does not reconsider the decision (to include foreign experts), we will resign," C P Chandrasekhar, a leading economist and member of one of the consultative groups on MTA, said in New Delhi.

The threat comes in the wake of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia asserting that representatives from World Bank and other multilateral agencies will continue in its consultative committees set up for the Tenth Plan's mid-term appraisal.

Accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a trip abroad, Ahluwalia had said in London yesterday that he saw nothing wrong in soliciting the foreign experts' views.

"If he (Ahluwalia) is still standing by his statement made yesterday, then there is no other option before us but to resign," Chandrasekhar said.

Apart from Chandrasekhar, other economists including Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnail, T M Thomas Isaac and Jayati Ghosh are believed to have decided to resign on the issue.

They are believed to have met CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechuri.

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