Planning Commission


One isn’t really surprised to see that there was no consensus among Chief Ministers at the special meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the nature of the body to >replace the Planning Commission (Dec. 8). It is distressing that in a matter as important as that of economic planning, which could shape the nation’s destiny, all parties in favour of and in opposition to the move appear to be voicing their arguments based on sheer political affiliation rather than on any rational and cogent basis. Ground realities clearly indicate that the Planning Commission, which had as recently as in 2013 bizarrely declared that a person earning Rs. 27 a day in rural areas and Rs. 33 in urban areas is not poor, could not perform to expected levels. While Mr. Modi’s idea of creating a new body for planning is welcome, he would do well to ensure that it doesn’t end up as being old wine in a new bottle.

B. Harish,


The BJP government at the Centre has said that States should have an important role to play in the new body and that States will be divided on the basis of four parameters — geography, economy, demography and urbanisation. This gives the right dimension to federalism. Though there may not be any immediate consensus on the idea, one is sure that things can be seen in the right perspective.

S. Ramakrishnasayee,

Ranipet, Tamil Nadu

Performing a mere advisory role all these years, the Planning Commission did not give sufficient impetus to growth after the post-reforms period. It had a top-down approach with a weak federal bond among the States. Mr. Modi’s new approach must be appreciated widely. Other institutional structures that strengthen the federal structure from a bottom-up approach should be constituted under the new panel.

D.S. Prasath,


The meeting ended up delineating battle lines clearly among Congress and non-Congress Chief Ministers. The idea of scrapping the Planning Commission and setting up a new body is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. There is always the possibility of changes to suit present-day conditions, but that does not mean the entire concept of a Planning Commission has to be scrapped. We need to rise above narrow political considerations.

D.B.N. Murthy,


The new government appears to be wanting to take credit for reinventing the wheel. It has almost become customary for both the Centre and the States to undo whatever a previous government may have done. The new NDA government is no exception.

Mr. Modi may appear to be vastly different from other politicians but he has not been able to stand up to pressure to dismantle the Commission that has survived for decades bringing vast benefits to the nation. Good sense must prevail to save the Planning Commission in its present form.

Nirmala T.,


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:04:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/planning-commission/article6673584.ece

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