lannin in ndia      5.35
     itself, in a very strong position. The NITI has     cutting across federal hurdles. Computerisation
     been termed by the Central Government as the        is already being done for speedier data delivery.
     ‘bestfriend of states in the Centre’.               For the time being the Plans are launched on
                                                         the basis of projected data (provisional, latest,
        A crItIcAL EVALuAtIon                            etc.), which is almost near the real data. But once
                                                         the above discussed arrangements are in place,
     Planning has been subject to a number of criticisms Indian planning will be based on evaluation,
     right since its inception in the country. With the
                                                         undoubtedly. In the meantime, the ‘Quarterly
     passage of time, not only the number of criticism
                                                         Review’ and the ‘Performance Budgeting’ of the
     increased, but more importantly the shortcomings
                                                         Union Budgets have brought in the evaluation
     of planning were pointed out. Although after
                                                         element to a greater degree.
     considerable delay, the governments took note
     of the shortcomings besides taking some major             The First Plan had set long-term goals (for the
     steps. The criticisms stand even today, but with    coming 20 years) besides the short-term goals (for
     one difference that the government is not only      five years). But over the time, falling confidence
     conscious of them but also trying to do away with   in mobilising required resources and political
     them. We may briefly discuss the major criticisms   uncertainties at the Centre made it a convention
     of planning in India as well as the follow ups from to set only short-term targets of planning. This
     the government to do away with them as under:       shortcoming seems to be done away with after the
                                                         commencement of the Tenth Plan. The Plan did
     1. lAck of ‘PersPective’ in PlAnning                not go for setting long-term goals only, but even
     According to experts, if a nation is going for      did set monitorable targets for the Eleventh Plan,
     economic planning it must have ‘perspective’        too.
     element in it. To have perspective in planning,           Point should be noted here that the
     two basic elements need to be fulfilled, namely—    government had been conscious about the need
          (i) Planning should be evaluation-based,       for perspective planning as a separate division
               and                                       with the same name, which has been functioning
         (ii) ‘Long-term’ goals should be followed up    in the Yojana Bhavan since the mid-1970s.
               besides the ‘short-term’ goals.
          In the Indian content, the succeeding plans    2. fAilure in Promoting A bAlAnceD groWth
     have been always commenced without the full               AnD DeveloPment
     evaluation of the preceding Plan. This was mainly   Indian planning is blamed for failing the objective
     due to the following reasons:                       of a regionally balanced growth and development.
          (a) Lack of a nodal body responsible for data  Though the Second Plan itself had noticed this
               collection at the national level;         fact, the measures taken were not sufficient or
         (b) Federal nature of polity made data          were short-sighted. Economic planning at the
               collection full of delays and also due to national level has proved to be a highly effective
               higher dependence on the states; and      tool of promoting balanced growth. But in the
          (c) Speedier data delivery was not possible.   Indian case it turned out to be the opposite.
          After the recommendations of the National            To take care of the issue of balanced growth,
     Statistical Commission (Chaired by C. Rangarajan),  the planning process has been using the right tools,
     2000, the government discussed to set up a nodal    i.e., allocating plan funds on a sectoral (primary,
     body for data collection at the pan-India level,    secondary and federal reasons) basis. But due to