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.