Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Monday said the exercise of producing an annual 'outcome budget' for union ministries should be junked, as it does not produce worthwhile results.
He instead emphasised developing a foolproof evaluation process, with the government spending up to 1 per cent of the administrative budget, or about Rs850 crore, to evaluate all its ministries, including the spend on salaries.
The government had started the practise producing outcome budgets a few years back to show the progress of various government programmes. It has now decided set up a separate independent evaluation office (IEO) to assess the progress of the government's schemes to benefit the poor, according to Ahluwalia.
''The exercise of manipulating existing data did not get the desired results. It's easy to evaluate whether investment made in a steel plant has delivered. But measurement of outcomes in health and education are difficult and complex,'' Ahluwalia tellingly said.
''We are working towards the establishment of an IEO for strengthening our evaluation system, the details of which would come out next month,'' he told reporters at an international conference on development evaluation in New Delhi on Monday.
Soft money policy to continue
Ahluwalia reiterated that there is no case for withdrawal of the various economic stimulus packages implemented by the government until GDP growth picks up to 7 per cent.
''I don't believe, in the current financial year, there is much of a case for exit (from stimulus measures). Until growth picks up to 7 per cent, there is no immediate case for reversal of policy,'' he said.
On overall GDP growth, he said clear picture would emerge only after the mid-term appraisal by the Planning Commission, expected by the end of the current calendar year.