lannin in ndia            5.31
           (i) Village-Level Planning                         (iv) The MLP, thus, failed to include the
          (ii) Hill Area Planning                                      people’s participation in planning, badly
         (iii) Tribal Area Planning                                    betraying the local aspirations.91
                                                                 But at least the failure of MLP made
           Basically, the MLP was started to promote the
                                                           the government to think in the direction of
     process of decentralised planning in the country.
                                                           decentralised planning afresh leading to the
     It was the Indian version of democratic planning
                                                           enactment of the two important Constitutional
     which ultimately sought to guarantee the people’s
                                                           Amendments—the 73rd and 74th.
     participation in the process of planning. But it
     failed to do so due to many reasons. The reasons
                                                              WAy to dEcEntrALISEd pLAnnInG
     have been discussed below:
           (i) It could not promote people’s participation Economic planning was basically an element
               in the formation of the various plans. The  of the centralised kind of political system (i.e.,
               basic idea of the MLP model was that        the socialist and the communist). When India
               once the local-level plans will be handed   decided in favour of a planned economy it was to
               over to the blocks, the blocks will make    face double challenges:
               their plans and once the blocks hand over         (i) The first challenge was to realise the
               their plans to the districts, the district-             objectives of planning in a time-bound
               level plans will be formulated. Similarly,              frame, and
               the state plans and finally the Five Year       (ii) Making economic planning a suitable
               Plan if the Centre will formulate one. By               instrument of development in the
               doing so, every idea of planning will have              democratic set up—to democratise and
               the representation of everybody in the                  decentralise the process of planning itself.
               country at the time of plan formation—a          The government tried to decentralise the
               special kind of plan empathy would have     planning process by setting up the NDC and
               developed out of this process. But this     promoting the MLP, but without being able to
               was not the reality. Every strata made      achieve the desired results. By the late 1980s, a
               their own plans—lacking the empathy         direct link was established92 between development
               factor.                                     and democracy. And it was established that
          (ii) Only Central Plans were implemented         the above-given challenges were basically
                                                           complementary—without solving the second
               as the states lacked the required level
                                                           challenge (i.e., decentralisation) the first challenge
               of finance to support the plans. They
               ultimately had to be satisfied by             91.    G.V.K. Rao Committee (CAARD), 1985; L.M. Singhvi
               implementing the Central Plans which                 Committee (CCPPRI), 1986 and Sarkaria Commission,
                                                                    1988 all discussed this inter-connection (Suresh Mishra,
               failed to include the states’ empathy.               Legislative Status of Panchayat Raj in India (New
         (iii) As the local bodies in India were not                Delhi: Indian Institute of Public Administration, 1997).
               having any constitutional mandate, they       92.    Governments’ failure in including the local aspirations
                                                                    in the process of planned development has been
               just played the complementary roles to               considered by major experts as the foremost reason
               the state planning process. As they had              behind the success of the regional political parties,
               no financial independence, their plans,              which has led to the governments of the ‘compromises’,
                                                                    i.e., coalition governments, at the Centre and in
               even if they were formulated, remained               the states via the ‘hung parliaments’ and the ‘hung
               only on paper.                                       assemblies’, respectively.