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