onomi lannin 4.3
the economic decision making over a longer we have some goals and objectives left
period to influence, direct and in some cases even regarding our lives, the process might
to control the level and growth of a nation’s main continue. With the changing nature of
economic variables (i.e., income, consumption, our needs, the nature and scope of the
employment, saving, investment, exports, planning process might undergo several
imports, etc.).4 changes. Planning is not an end in itself.
An economic plan is simply a set of specific As processes accelerate and decelerate,
economic targets to be achieved in a given change direction and course, so also does
period of time with a stated strategy. Economic planning.
plans may be either comprehensive or partial. (ii) Planning must have well-defined goals.
A comprehensive plan sets targets to cover all After the Second World War, several
major aspects of the economy, while a partial countries went for development planning.
plan may go for setting such targets for a part of As these nations had enormous socio-
the economy (i.e., agriculture, industry, public economic hurdles, they first set some
sector, etc.). Taken broadly, the planning process goals and objectives and then started their
itself can be described as an exercise in which a process of realising them via planning.
government first chooses social objectives, then In due course of time, there emerged a
sets various targets (i.e., economic targets), and consensus that planning must have some
finally organises a framework for implementing, goals and those goals should be well-
coordinating and monitoring the development defined (not vaguely defined)—so that the
plan.5 government’s discretionary intervention
One very important thing which should in the economic organisation could be
be clear to all is that the idea of planning first democratically transparent and justified.
emerged in its applied form and after studying and Even in the non-democratic nations (i.e.,
surveying the experiences of different countries erstwhile USSR, Poland, China, etc.) the
which followed it, experts started theorising goals of planning were clearly defined.6
about planning. Thus, in the case of planning, the (iii) Optimum utilisation of the available
direction has been from practice to theory. This resources. Here we see two catch concepts.
is why the form and the nature of planning kept First, is the way of utilising the resources.
changing from country to country and from time Till the idea of sustainability emerged
to time. As we will see in the following pages, the
(1987) experts tried to ‘maximise’ the
types of planning itself evolved through time as
resource exploitation. But once experts
different countries experimented with it.
around the world introspected the
As per our working definition, we may say the untenability of such a method of resource
following things about planning: utilisation, the sustainable approach
(i) Planning is a process. It means planning was included into planning and here in
is a process of doing something. Till entered the idea of utilising resources at
4. Michael P. Todaro, Development Planning: Models
its ‘possible best’, so that environmental
and Methods. oxford University Press, Nairobi, 1971. degradation could be at its minimum and
5. United Nations Department of Economic Affairs, the future generations could also be able
Measures for Economic Development of
Underdeveloped Countries, UNo, DEA, New York, 6. The Gosplan, First Five Year Plan (1928–33), USSR,
1951, p. 63. 1928.