Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission

        The State Planning Commission (SPC) was constituted in Tamil Nadu on 25th May 1971 under the Chairmanship of the Hon’ble Chief Minister as an Advisory Body to make recommendations to the Government on various matters pertaining to the development of the State. The Principal Secretary to Government, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives and the Principal Secretary to Government, Finance Department are ex-officio Members. The Member Secretary is responsible for administration in the Commission. The  present composition is as follows:


Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu



Full Time Member

Part-Time Members  


Thiru. Anil Meshram. I.A.S.,

Ex-officio Members

The Principal Secretary to Government,

Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Department

The Principal Secretary to Government,

Finance Department


The major functions of the State Planning Commission are as follows:

  • Preparing Five Year and Annual Plans based on the policies and priorities of the Government;

  • Undertaking Mid Term review of the Five Year Plan and advising the Government on appropriate modification and restructuring of the schemes;

  • Evaluating  major plan schemes through Department of Evaluation and Applied Research;

  • Monitoring development indicators that influence the Human Development Index, Gender Development Index, etc., at a disaggregated level;

  • Undertaking special studies as required for formulation and implementation of plan projects and programmes;

  • Monitoring the Tamil Nadu economy and sending reports to Government as and when necessary

  • Implementing and monitoring State Balanced Growth Fund (SBGF) to address the regional disparities.

  • Coordinating the functions of District Planning Cells and initiating planning process at District/Block/Village level.

The Commission has the following technical divisions:

1. Agricultural Policy and Planning

2. Industries, Power and Transport

3. Land Use

4. Education and Employment

5. Health and Social Welfare

6. District Planning and Rural Development

7. Plan Co-ordination

Activities of SPC:.

 State Balanced Growth Fund

The State aims to achieve ‘Numero Uno’ status among the comity of States. As per the State’s Vision for 2023, the State would be set to perform on par with developed countries in terms of human development status.  The State is one of the top performers in human development. Yet disparities are observed among and within districts. Tamil Nadu has recorded robust economic growth coupled with significant improvement in human development status.  The State could reach the zenith, if the regional imbalances inter-district and intra-district disparities are addressed in a focused manner.  The preparation of State and District Human Development Reports facilitated an analysis on attainments in terms of Income, Poverty, Employment, Health, Education and Gender.  Based on this, the State Government formulated a new programme which would address these regional imbalances in these parameters.  The objective of this programme is to address challenges of backward areas in improving their status and performing on par with the rest of the State. Special funds would be made available for focused interventions through special projects, or gap-filling arrangements.

The State Planning Commission has identified the backward areas.  Backward blocks, backward areas in urban bodies such as municipalities and Corporations such as wards with high slum population would be taken up for implementation of this programme.  The State Planning Commission would implement this programme through the District Collectors at the District Level.   The District Planning Cell would coordinate the activities and assist the District Collector in the implementation. A Resource Institution has been identified in each district to prepare Perspective Plan, Annual Action Plan and projects to address backwardness, with the participation of the district level officials and PRI representatives. 

A State level Empowered Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, SPC to approve the Perspective Plan, Annual Action Plan and to accord sanction for individual projects has been constituted.  The State level Empowered Committee shall function as the Steering Committee to monitor, review and evaluate the implementation of the programme.

A State level Review Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, in which all Secretaries would be members and the Member Secretary, SPC would be the convener. The State level Review Committee will introduce a system of Monitoring System of senior IAS officers to visit the backward areas to assess, advice and then provide feedback to State Planning Commission, the State level Empowered Committee and the District Collector.  

Establishment of Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiatives (TANII) and setting up of State Innovation Fund

Based on the announcement of the then Hon‟ble Chief Minister under Rule 110 in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on 08.08.2014 and as a follow-up on an important theme of the “Vision Tamil Nadu 2023” of making Tamil Nadu the “Innovation Hub” of the country, orders were issued in G.O.(Ms)No.93, Planning, Development & Special Initiatives (SP.1) Department, dated 26.09.2014 for the establishment of the “Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiatives (TANII)” in the State Planning Commission. The Government has also set up a State Innovation Fund from the financial year 2015-2016 onwards with a corpus of Rs.150 crore to be allocated every year to encourage a culture of innovation in Government and Government agencies. An award in the name of “Chief Minister‟s Award for Innovation” has been instituted and will be awarded for the best innovative practices.

Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board

The Government (in the G.O.MS. No: 58, Planning, Development & Special Initiatives (SPC) Dept, dated: 10.02.2011) has created the “Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board (TNSLURB)” under the chairmanship of Vice-Chairperson, State Planning Commission as a permanent body in the State Planning Commission. This Board is intended to promote interaction and study in the vital area of land use. The terms of reference of the Board include the need to evolve formal interaction with various stakeholders and to arrive at policy options. The State Planning Commission will also hold seminars/ workshops and commission studies on sustainable management of land and water resources.

2. The objectives of the Board are: (a) To assess the land resources; provide advice to Government for policy planning; co-ordination; develop an overview and possible priorities for land use changes, especially in diversion of fertile agriculture lands; development of waste lands and marginal lands for alternative uses; and to promote integrated scientific planning; (b) To review programme implementation, promote formation of a database and utilize the same for integrated and perspective planning; (c) To advise the Government on sound, scientific and policy interventions for changing environmental factors such as pollution and global warming; and (d) To conserve and manage land and water resources.

Special Area Development Programme

The Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) and the Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP) were implemented in Tamil Nadu from 1975-76 onwards with 90% financial assistance from the Government of India, while the balance of 10% was initially a loan and later became the State‟s share. The main objectives of these programmes were eco-preservation and eco-restoration with a focus on sustainable use of biodiversity. The programmes also focused on the needs and aspirations of local communities, ensuring community participation in the design and implementation of strategies for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. Watershed based development on a participatory approach was the trust of the programme for ensuring efficiency, transparency, and accountability. The main aim of the watershed approach was to ensure a  holistic approach to water and land resources and to prevent further degradation of these ecologically fragile areas.

The State Government was also implementing schemes for the welfare of the tribals and other population living in the areas prone to leftwing extremism along the border areas of the state in the districts of Dindigul, Madurai, Theni, Erode, Coimbatore and Nilgiris. The nature of the works implemented in the Maoist prone areas was also similar to what was taken up under Hill Area Development Programme and the Western Ghats Development Programme.

In the Union Budget 2015-2016, Government of India announced that the HADP/WGDP schemes will be delinked from the Central Assistance from the year 2015-16 onwards and stated that the schemes may be continued from the available resources of the State  Government. As an immediate follow up, in the Budget 2015-16, the State Government announced that a new scheme, the Special Area Development Programme with an annual outlay of Rs.75 crore would be implemented covering the hilly areas of the State. The designated area for the Special Area Development Programme is in the hill ranges of Tamil Nadu which are at an absolute altitude of > 600 m ASL from the base. The target area is spread over 10 districts, 40 taluks and 67 blocks and covers 36 Municipalities, 148 Town Panchayats and 1266 Village Panchayats of the State. Areas in Erode District which were not covered earlier under WGDP and HADP have now been included in SADP.

Detailed implementation Guidelines for SADP were issued in G.O.Ms. No.40, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (TC-I) Department, dated 04.03.2016. The Department  of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu is the State Level Nodal Department (SLND) for the management of the Special Area Development Programme. The Special Area Development Programme intends to focus on the buffer zone adjoining the protected forests areas, which often suffer from lack of investment as they fall neither in the forests areas nor are close to habitations but are critical to soil and water conservation. Hence, the scope of SADP would cover the interaction between water and production landscapes and human livelihood; water and ecosystem services and water biodiversity. There would be focus on enhancing livelihood opportunities insitu on micro watershed based planning.

The SADP focus sectors include Soil Conservation, Forestry and Ecology, Horticulture, Agriculture, Adi-Dravida and Tribal  Welfare, Animal Husbandry, Renewable Energy, Rural Roads, Gap-filling infrastructure in Urban and Rural Local Bodies, Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business, Water Resources Development and Fisheries

.The programme is proposed to be operationalised at the level of the fundamental unit of decentralized governance viz. Village Panchayat, Town Panchayat or Municipality. This ensures a more focused approach to hilly areas as opposed to taking up whole taluks and blocks as in HADP and WGDP.

A Project Directorate to oversee the implementation of the programme has been established for undertaking field implementation with two Units. Under Unit I, the present area of operation of the Project Director, HADP has been expanded beyond Nilgiris District to cover the following districts:

1. The Nilgiris

2. Coimbatore

3. Tiruppur

4. Erode

Under Unit II, the present State Land Use Research Board at the State Planning Commission will oversee the field implementation in the remaining districts, which are:

1. Dindugul

2. Madurai

3. Theni

4. Virudhunagar

5. Tirunelveli

6. Kanyakumari

The past interventions under WGDP and the HADP have primarily been sector based with programmes that are specific to the department entrusted with the task. Under the current programme both the area and sector based approaches have been consolidated for a more robust identification of the sectors and works to be undertaken. The Special Area Development Programme is structured to converge with and derive full advantage of the other programmes in existence. The SADP would limit itself largely to bridging shortfalls in fund requirement and programme implementation. In instances where the option for convergence is limited, the financial and programme interventions of the SADP may serve as a seed fund for the development of a full fledged programme. A coordination of the programme interventions  would also ensure that the goal for the hills of the State, remains consistent with the principle of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

 In 2016-2017 an amount of Rs.75 crore was allotted for the implementation of the Special Area Development Programme. In the Revised Estimate for 2016-17, Rs.25 crore both for Special Area Development Programme Unit–I at Udhagamandalam and Special Area Development Programme Unit–II at State Planning Commission, Chennai was allotted. Again in Budget Estimate 2017-2018 an amount of Rs.75 crore is allotted for the implementation of the Special Area Development Programme.


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