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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.