Planning Commission of India


Planning Commission, Government of India
The Planning Commission was set up in March, 1950 by a Resolution of the Government of India which defined the scope of its work in the following terms :

" The Constitution of India has guaranteed certain Fundamental Rights to the citizens of India and enunciated certain Directive Principles of State Policy, in particular, that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life, and shall direct its policy towards securing, among other things,—
  1. that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood ;
  2. that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good ; and
  3. that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
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Having regard to these rights and in furtherance of these principles as well as of the declared objective of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country, increasing production, and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community.
The Planning Commission will—
  1. make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relationto the nation's requirements ;
  2. formulate a Plan for the most effective and balanced utilisation of the country's resources ;
  3. on a determination of priorities, define the stages in which the Plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage ;
  4. indicate the factors which are tending to retard economic development, and determine the conditions which, in view of the current social and political situation, should be established for the successful execution of the Plan ;
  5. determine the nature of the machinery which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all its aspects ;
  6. appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the Plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal may show to be necessary ; and
  7. make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to it to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it ; or, on a consideration of the prevailing economic conditions, current policies, measures and development programmes ; or on an examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by Central or State Governments."                                                 

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History

The Planning Commission was set up by a Resolution of the Government of India in March 1950 in pursuance of declared objectives of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country, increasing production and offering opportunities to all for employment in the service of the community. The Planning Commission was charged with the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country, augmenting deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilisation of resources and determining priorities. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Chairman of the Planning Commission.
The first Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of the Indo-Pakistan Conflict. Two successive years of drought, devaluation of the currency, a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969, the fourth Five-year plan was started in 1969.
The Eighth Plan could not take off in 1990 due to the fast changing political situation at the Centre and the years 1990-91 and 1991-92 were treated as Annual Plans. The Eighth Plan was finally launched in 1992 after the initiation of structural adjustment policies.
For the first eight Plans the emphasis was on a growing public sector with massive investments in basic and heavy industries, but since the launch of the Ninth Plan in 1997, the emphasis on the public sector has become less pronounced and the current thinking on planning in the country, in general, is that it should increasingly be of an indicative nature.


Functions

The 1950 resolution setting up the Planning Commission outlined its functions as to:
  1. Make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the nation’s requirement;
  2. Formulate a Plan for the most effective and balanced utilisation of country's resources;
  3. On a determination of priorities, define the stages in which the Plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage;
  4. Indicate the factors which are tending to retard economic development, and determine the conditions which, in view of the current social and political situation, should be established for the successful execution of the Plan;
  5. Determine the nature of the machinery which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all its aspects;
  6. Appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the Plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal may show to be necessary; and
  7. Make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to it to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it, or on a consideration of prevailing economic conditions, current policies, measures and development programmes or on an examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by Central or State Governments.

Evolving Functions

From a highly centralised planning system, the Indian economy is gradually moving towards indicative planning where Planning Commission concerns itself with the building of a long term strategic vision of the future and decide on priorities of nation. It works out sectoral targets and provides promotional stimulus to the economy to grow in the desired direction.
Planning Commission plays an integrative role in the development of a holistic approach to the policy formulation in critical areas of human and economic development. In the social sector, schemes which require coordination and synthesis like rural health, drinking water, rural energy needs, literacy and environment protection have yet to be subjected to coordinated policy formulation. It has led to multiplicity of agencies. An integrated approach can lead to better results at much lower costs.
The emphasis of the Commission is on maximising the output by using our limited resources optimally. Instead of looking for mere increase in the plan outlays, the effort is to look for increases in the efficiency of utilisation of the allocations being made.
With the emergence of severe constraints on available budgetary resources, the resource allocation system between the States and Ministries of the Central Government is under strain. This requires the Planning Commission to play a mediatory and facilitating role, keeping in view the best interest of all concerned. It has to ensure smooth management of the change and help in creating a culture of high productivity and efficiency in the Government.
The key to efficient utilisation of resources lies in the creation of appropriate self-managed organisations at all levels. In this area, Planning Commission attempts to play a systems change role and provide consultancy within the Government for developing better systems. In order to spread the gains of experience more widely, Planning Commission  also plays an information dissemination role.

Organisation

The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Planning Commission, which works under the overall guidance of the National Development Council. The Deputy Chairman and the full time Members of the Commission, as a composite body, provide advice and guidance to the subject Divisions for the formulation of Five Year Plans, Annual Plans, State Plans, Monitoring Plan Programmes, Projects and Schemes.

Taskforce

[ For PDF Files : Download Acrobat Reader  ]
  1. Task Force to Review Guidelines on Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-PlanRecommendations to Revise Guidelines for Implementation of Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan by Central Ministries/Departments: PDF File
  2. Report of the Taskforce "To look into the Problems of Hills States and Hill Areas and to suggest ways to ensure that these states and areas do not suffer in any way because of their peculiarities" : PDF File
  3. Task forces on HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, Planning Commission
  4. Special Task Force on Bihar
    • Bihar's Exposure To Innovative Governance Practices [ PDF ]
    • Road Map For Development of Power Sector in Bihar [ PDF ]
    • Road Map For Development of Health Sector in Bihar [ PDF ]
    • Road Map For Rural Industrialisation in Bihar[ PDF ]
    • Bihar's Exposure Towards the Banking Sector [ PDF ]
    • Bihar Road Sector Development - New Dimensions [ PDF ]
    • Bihar's Agriculture Development - Opportunities and Challaeges [ PDF ]
    • Information Technology Led Growth In Bihar - A Road Map [ PDF ]
  5. Task Force on Skill Development [ PDF [4.00MB] || ZIP(MS Word) ]
  6. Task Group on Problems of Hilly Habitations in Areas Covered by the Hill Areas Development Programme (HADP)/Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP) - Constitution || Report
  7. Task Group on Revamping and Refocusing of National Agricultural Research [ PDF [1.9MB] || ZIP(MS Word) ]
  8. Task Force on Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) [ PDF || ZIP ]
  9. Task Force on Integrated Transport Policy [ PDF || ZIP ]
  10. Task Force on Greening India for Livelihood Security and Sustainable Development [ PDF Format ]
  11. Task Force on India as Knowledge Superpower [ PDF Format ]
  12. Task force on Employment Opportunities
  13. Report of the Task Force on conservation & sustainable use of Medicinal Plants
  14. Task Force on Sugar Industry
  15. Inter-Ministry Taskgroup Reports
  16. Report of the Task Force on Eco-Devlopment Plan for Goa, March 1982 - [ PDF ]

Committees

Twelfth Five Year Plan

Eleventh Five Year Plan

Tenth Five Year Plan

Steering Committees and Advisory / Working Groups
  1. Steering Committees...
  2. Advisory / Working Groups...

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