Framework for Multi-level Planning
V K NATARAJ, DECENTRALISATION OF PLANNING IN INDIA, Institute of Development Studies, University of Mysore, 1974. pp52. Rs 5.
PLANNING IMPLIES a conscious and deliberate layout of the scarce national resources for maximizing social welfare, eliminating wastage and co-ordinating local, regional and sectoral programmes into an integrated developmental framework. It involves making of major economic decisions? by a determinate authority of what to produce, how much to produce and to whom it should be allocated. Planning has thus the twin objectives of increasing production and distributing it equitably among the community. Fulfilment of these objectives calls for a high degree of government control.
The main features of a planned development system are: conscious and deliberate economic aims or targets; comprehensive planning in every sector of the community; deployment of all the available resources most economically and on a well-organized system of priorities, targets and objectives; active involvement of not only the administrators, statisticians, scientists and technicians but also of the masses; and more impor-tant,the creation of the necessary institutional framework at different levels and a linking up of the regional plans with the national sectoral plans. Irrespective of the differences that might exist in the systems and styles of planning between countries, any planning process,if it is to become operationally effective, has necessarily to conform to these basic postulates.
While during the course of the last quarter of a century, ihc planning process in our country has no doubt undergone improvements, albeit inadequate, it continues to suffer from serious lacunae in the institutional apparatus especially at the regional level. This has largely been due to the failure on the part of the Planning Commission and the central government to regard the institutional framework of the planning process with the degree of seriousness it deserved. Although there has been considerable