5.18           ndian        onom
                 in the national plan, including measures                           made it necessary to allow states greater
                 to secure the active participation and                             autonomy in economic matters. Once
                 cooperation of the people, improve the                             the WTO regime started it became an
                 efficiency of the administrative services,                         economic compulsion.
                 ensure the fullest development of the less                    (ii) The enactment of the Constitutional
                 advanced regions and backward sections                             Amendments 73rd and the 74th had
                 of the community and through sacrifices                            made local level planning a constitutional
                 borne equally by all citizens, build up                            compulsion.
                 resources for national development.64
                                                                              (iii) And lastly it was the compulsion of
          Though the first Plan of India was launched
                                                                                    coalition politics in the formation of the
     before the arrival of the NDC, the body had
                                                                                    Union Government which made the
     many meetings before the terminal year of the
                                                                                    Centre to favour the states.
     plan and useful deliberations (almost all) after due
     consideration were included by the government                              As per the major experts on the issue of
     into the planning process. But after the death                        decentralised planning, the last of the above given
     of Jawaharlal Nehru—the greatest champion of                          three reasons has played the most important role.
     democratic decentralisation in the country65 the                      By 2002, in the area of development planning we
     NDC had become a small gathering of only those                        find an enhanced level of federal maturity and
     who had the same vested interests with only the                       we see the last three five years plans (10th, 11th
     Congress CMs participating in its meetings. The                       and 12th) adopted by a consensual support of the
     CMs belonging to other political parties usually                      NDC members.
     did not come to its meetings; the government                               The NDC had its last meeting held in
     hardly gave any importance to their advice. A phase                   December 2012 (57th meeting). It is believed
     of tussle between the Centre and the states started                   that in coming times the NDC will be merged
     worsening from here onward with a degradation                         with the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog.
     in principles of the co-operative federalism, with                    The Governing Council is a better equipped body
     every five-year plans which followed. It was only                     than the NDC to establish a better Union-State
     by the mid-1990s that we see the revival of the                       co-ordination.
     lost glory of NDC as well as that of the spirit of
     decentralised planning. This has been possible due
                                                                              cEntrAL pLAnnInG
     to three major reasons:
           (i) In the era of economic reforms, with                        The Plans which are formulated by the
                 greater dependence on the private capital                 Central Government and financed by it for
                                                                           the implementation at the national level are
       64.    The italicised words are here highlighting the level of the
              Government’s consciousness about the concerned issues of
                                                                           known as Central Plans. Over the years, the
              decentralised planning, regional and individual inequalities Centre has launched three such plans and the
              to which the planning was to be specially attentive.         governments have maintained continuity in their
       65.    George Mathew, undoubtedly among the legendary
              commentator on the Panchayat Raj/democratic
                                                                           implementation. The three central plans are:
              decentralisation calls Nehru as “its most eminent champion        A. Five-Year Plans,
              at the national level”. Similarly, the reputed historians
              Bipan Chandra and others call Nehru as “the greatest              B. Twenty-Point Programme, and
              champion of planned economic development”. For Nehru
              the process of planning in the country was to be democratic
                                                                                C. Member of Parliament Local Area
              about which seems very clear, as his writings support.                Development Scheme.