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Kerala PSC Indian Economy Book Study Materials Page 89Book's First Page
lannin in ndia 5.3 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), conference of the Ministers of Industries of the the leading organisation of Indian capitalists. Its Congress-ruled States (though other states were President N.R. Sarkar proclaimed that the days of also invited to participate) where M. Visvesvaraya, undiluted laissez-faire were gone forever and for J.R.D. Tata, G.D. Birla and Lala Sri Ram and a backward country like India, a comprehensive many others including academicians, technocrats, plan for economic development covering the provincial civil servants, trade unionists, socialists whole gamut of economic activities was a and communists, etc., were also invited. The necessity. Voicing the views of the capitalist class, 15-member NPC with 29 sub-committees and he further called for a high powered ‘National a total of 350 members produced 29 volumes of Planning Commission’ to coordinate the whole recommendations.10 The work of the committee process of planning so that the country could was interrupted when the Second World War make a structural break with the past and achieve broke out and in the wake of the Quit India its full growth potential.7 Movement many of its members including the By the late nineteenth century, the economic chairman were arrested, and between 1940 and thinking of the nationalists (such as M.G. Ranade 1945 the Committee had only a nominal existence. and Dadabhai Naroji) was in favour of a dominant Though the final report of the NPC could only role of the state in the economy and doubted be published in 1949, many developments the prudence of the ‘market mechanism’. This related to planning took place during the Interim thinking was further reinforced by the Keynesian Government upto 1946. ideas in the wake of the Great Depression, the “A series of valuable reports were published New Deal in the USA and the Soviet experiment in which brought together the constructive thinking national planning. Thus, the Indian capitalist class done by the committee and the sub-committees were also influenced by these events which were and the materials collected in the course of their voiced in the FICCI articulation for planning. work. The importance of the NPC lies not so the congress PlAn much in these reports as in the wide interest it created throughout the country for co-ordinated Though the Gandhians and some of the business planning as the only means of bringing about a and propertied representatives were opposed to rapid increase in the standards of living and its commit the party to centralised state planning emphasis on the need for bringing fundamental (including Mahatma Gandhi),8 it was on the changes in the social and economic structure.”11 initiative9 of the INC president Subhash C. Bose that the National Planning Committee (NPC) was Some of the important developments after the set up in October 1938 under the chairmanship NPC was set up which prepared a foundation for of J. L. Nehru to work out concrete programmes coordinated planning in Independent India are for development encompassing all major areas of given below: the economy. Basically, the NPC was set up in a (i) Post War Reconstruction Committee: Early in June 1941, the Government 7. Bipan Chandra etal., India After Independence, 1947–2000, (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2000), p. 341. of India formed (on popular demand) 8. A. Vaidyanathan. ‘The Indian Economy Since a Post-War Reconstruction Committee Independence (1947–70)’, in Dharma Kumar (ed), The Cambridge Economic History of India, Vol.II, 10. Publications Division, The Gazetteer of India, Vol.3, (New (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 949. Delhi: Government of India, 1975), p. 2. 9. Sumit Sarkar, Modern India, p. 360. 11. Ibid., pp. 2–3.