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Complexities of Planning

P.H. Vaishnav

By Y. Venugopal Reddy
Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1979, pp. 193, Rs. 60.00

VOLUME IV NUMBER 1 July/August 1979

Even the well-educated layman let alone an ordinary citizen in India does not know the planning process in all its complexities. The concept of multi­level planning is understood even less. A book that describes the process, the way it has evolved over the years, its future directions, the meaning, the need and the possibilities of multi-level plan­ning is to be welcomed as a part of Plan education. This is a frankly ‘des­criptive-analytical account’ of the Plan process in India, with the multi-level aspect of it explained and elaborated. It also includes two case studies of regional planning, one relating to the traditionally drought prone region of Rayalseema consisting of four districts and two talukas of Andhra Pradesh, and the formulation of a Plan for the district of Hyderabad. The planning process was initiated when the country had already given to itself a federal democratic Constitution. Through the successive plans, growth and socio-economic justice have been the principal objectives. There was also a clear understanding that planning will be within the frame of a mixed economy, that is, while the public sector in diffe­rent areas of production, services and finance will grow, private sector consist­ing of the organized sector in large and medium industries, commercial and financial institutions, and a vast un­organized sector consisting of agriculture, cottage and small industries, trade and construction will coexist. An important aspect of the Plan process is, therefore,· one of devising appropriate regulatory devices so that the activities of the private sector are in broad congruence with the Plan objec­tives and of providing overheads such as Power, Transport, Education and Social services. The character of the Planning process, therefore, has been determined by the fact that while the principal responsibi­lity for planned economic development rests with Government, it does not plan a command economy, that the commit­ment to democracy makes it sensitive to public opinion, and seek wide under­standing, support and public participa­tion. Above all, the Plan has to have a clear social bias aimed at the elimination of exploitation, minimization of existing disparities between income groups and regions and preventing their fresh emer­gence. The planning process has, therefore, three aspects, namely, time, space and the beneficiary groups and two levels at which the constitutional entities, namely, the Central and State Governments are responsible for the formulation and implementation of the Plans within ...

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