ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Between Now and Then

Nobody expected any dramatic developments at the National Development Council meetings in New Delhi last weekend. Instead of the usual routine acceptance of whatever is presented to them, there was something very disturbing in the attitude towards plan making displayed at the discussions.

Nobody expected any dramatic developments at the National Development Council meetings in New Delhi last weekend. Instead of the usual routine acceptance of whatever is presented to them, there was something very disturbing in the attitude towards plan making displayed at the discussions. The Fourth Plan Draft Outline as submitted to the N D C is to be presented without any change to Parliament today, but between the adoption of the Draft outline and the final Plan, which is scheduled for the end of the year, certain changes are to be brought about. But changes of what sort? That there would be some changes it is naturally to be expected, but one would have thought that they would not be major in any sense, not so late in the day. What is disconcerting is to be told by the Planning Commission Chief, Asoka Mehta himself, that the Plan Outline, in the way it has been prepared, would not provide a basis for the preparation of the Fifth Plan: and that it would have to be changed sometime later. It is a strange admission that the Fourth Plan has been drawn up without taking into account the requirements of the Fifth.

In all the plan documents released to the public till now, we have been told that our Plans are meant to guarantee longterm selfsustained growth. Have the exercises in perspective planning stretching into 1975 and 1980 then been thrown overboard? What was presented to N D C hangs by itself, with no relations yet worked out to what is to follow. This, however, may even pass unnoticed; surely the thought that at the end of five years the growth potential of the economy has been left uncertain will not disturb many.

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