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From 50 Years Ago (4 Februray 2006)

and the Planning Commission and the Central

and the Planning Commission and the Central “if it is to be a Plan, we have to calculate how it


Government and between experts and others. interlocks and how it affects. It is not a question,

And, then, finally, we had the meeting of the as everyone knows of putting up a factory here

Standing Committee of the NDC. The Standing or a factory there. Planning is an interlocking

Committee suggested many things. These were of production, consumption, employment and

noted down very carefully and after that we a large number of other things, like transport, Vol VIII, Nos 3, 4 and 5, January 1956 had a series of meetings with a large number of social services, education and health. The whole

membersofParliament belonging to all parties. thing has somehow to be brought together.”Anthology or Drama? During these meetings, often the same points How is it brought together? Not the political

were emphasised which had been emphasised procedure by which it is arrived at, but thedesign

(Off the Record)

in the meeting of the Standing Committee, of the Plan, its structure and inter-relations?

The various stages through which the Plan and many new points were also made. After How is it going to be ensured in the end that passes and the many influences that shape it, this, the Planning Commission sat down to the plan will work, that its several components were described by Pandit Nehru in his address consider all these criticisms and then after will be self-consistent and that the result is the to the National Development Council, which that the National Development Council met”. optimum attainable? Will the plan still retain examined the Draft Plan. He said: “It is difficult”, he added, “to put into its structural unity after so many assaults at

“Now, as I told you, for over a year, the compact shape all that has been suggested and so many hands? This is a disturbing thought Second Five-Year Plan has been in the air and to incorporate it in the draft report or to vary after we have been told again and again that in people’s minds, certainly in the mind of the the report, but broadly some of the principles a plan is not a mere collection of good projects Planning Commission, certainly in the minds that were stressed then had been accepted and which can be taken up singly or in groups of State Governments and certainly in the an attempt will be made to bring them out according to convenience, that it is not an minds of the Central Statistical Institute which, in the (final?) report.”anthology, but a drama which has the unity you will remember, almost exactly a year ago, “Democratic planning”, Pandit Nehru went and progress of play and leads on to consumproduced a certain Plan-frame, as it was called.” on to say, “calls for consultation with as large a mation. What is the assurance of reaching a

“Since then there have been ever so many number of people as possible from all over consummation at the end, if we are perpetuallyconsultations between your representatives India”. But at the end of it all and above all, going backwards and forwards on the way?

Economic and Political Weekly February 4, 2006

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