5.4 ndian onom
which was to consider various plans for the National Planning Committee, and
the reconstruction of the economy.12 other plans and proposals for planning
(ii) Consultative Committee of Economists: and to make recommendations regarding
A consultative committee of economists the future machinery of planning and
under the chairmanship of Ramaswamy also in regard to objectives and priorities.
Mudaliar was set up in 1941 as a The Board strongly recommended
‘think tank’ to advise the four Post- the creation of “a single, compact
War Reconstruction Committees for authoritative organisation ... responsible
executing national plan for the country. directly to the Cabinet ... which should
Though the committee suggested many devote its attention continuously to
plans for different areas of the economy, the whole field of development.”14 This
they had negligible practical significance was an emphatic advice for the creation
as these suggestions were imbued with of a National Planning Commission,
academic biases. similar to FICCI’s view of 1934, which
will have autonomy and authoritative
(iii) Planning and Development
say on the process of development
Department: After all possible delays, it
planning, working in tandem with the
was in 1944 that the government created a
Union Cabinet and also influencing the
Planning and Development Department
developmental decisions of the states.
under a separate member of the Viceroy’s
This happened in 1950 with the setting
Executive Council for organising and
up of the Planning Commission.
co-ordinating economic planning in the
country. Ardeshir Dalal (the controller The Board, in its Report of January 1947,
of the Bombay Plan) was appointed as emphatically expressed the opinion that the
one of its acting members. More than “proper development of large-scale industries can
20 panels of experts were set up. The only take place if political units, whether in the
central departments and the governments provinces or states, agree to work in accordance
of the Provinces and Indian states were with a common plan.”15 This suggestion worked
invited to prepare detailed plans for as a great influence on the planning process
industrialisation.12 This Department was of Independent India as it always tried to give
abolished in 1946. unifying nature to development planning. But,
this process also induced a serious tendency of
(iv) Advisory Planning Board: In October
centralisation in the Indian planning to which
1946, the Government of India
a number of states were to pose objections and
appointed a committee called the
straining the centre-state relations, time and
‘Advisory Planning Board’13 to review
again.16 However, the political leadership, right
the planning that had already been done
by the British government, the work of 14. Dharma Kumar (ed.), The Cambridge Economic
History of India, Vol.II, p. 950.
12. There was a popular view in favour of rapid 15. Kalikinkar Datta, An Advanced History of India, 4th
industrialisation among the important nationalists, Edition (New Delhi: Macmillan, 2006), pp. 955–56.
economists and the business class of that time.
16. S.N. Jha and P.C. Mathur (eds), Decentralisation and
13. The Board was set up by the Interim Government Local Politics, (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2002),
formed in 1946. pp. 28–30.