Social Scientist. v 3, no. 30-31 (Jan-Feb 1975) p. 3.


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ASHOK MITRA

Current Crisis^ Planning and Growth

FOR all practical purposes, the country has once more returned to the phase of plan holiday. Irrespective of whether a final version of the Fifth Five Year Plan is made available or not, the parameters originally proposed for the Plan have fallen by the wayside. Even if there were a genuine determination to reverse the interruption of the planning process, it would still be necessary to start afresh, since, in the changed cirumstances, the internal logic of the Fifth Plan has become altogether non-operational.

To return to planning is an imperative necessity; this proposition will hold even where no radical transformations of the system are being *hought of and certain liberal goods are all one is after, such as rapid economic growth, eradication of the more extreme forms of poverty, larrowing of income inequalities, creation of more employment opportunities, and so on. Given India's acute paucity of resources, all this tails for coordinated use of resources. Equally important is the need to restore the concept of a definite time horizon; it is in terms of the latter that the coordination of resources has to be affected. Such coordination should at the same time take cognizance of a set of clearly enunciated and .nternally consistent national targets. Whatever the system of socio-political alues that might be brought in, as a poor nation we simply cannot "brd the luxury of not having a plan. To use a cliche, the present



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