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

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Reorienting the Plan Process and Revitalising the Planning Commission

What needs to be done to give the plan process a new content and direction, and make the proposed National Development and Reform Commission an effective body?

After playing a historic role in nation-building the Planning Commission has come to the end of the road. It had become evident to all that if the Planning Commission did not reinvent itself it was bound to fall into desuetude. The National Development and Reform Commission or NDRC is the suggested name for the institution succeeding the Planning Commission.

However, in the debate for reforming the Planning Commission, the fundamental underlying flaw in the current plan process has gone unnoticed. Most of the failures attributed to the Planning Commission spring from a totally flawed “top down” or inverted plan process being administered by it. The process involves allocation and scattering of resources without sufficient correlation with local needs, with no tie-up of intended benefits with the targeted recipient, and with practically no feedback on actual delivery. The result is widespread dissatisfaction on leakages and misapplication of funds. All this, then, is portrayed as “implementation failure or delivery deficit” and the commission has had to bear the cross.

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