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

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DID or did not the National Development Council, at its meeting on August 30 and 31, unanimously approve the 'Framework' of the Sixth Five-Year Plan, 1980-85? The Chief Minister of West Bengal has said, on his return to Calcutta after attending the meeting, that reports appearing in the newspapers that it had were "not correct". On the other hand, the NDC did adopt a resolution, without dissent by any of the chief ministers present, approving that the Planning Commission "may now proceed to prepare the final draft of the Sixth Plan on the basis of the objectives, the programme thrusts and the targets for growth and additional resource mobilisation as outlined in the draft framework". It is likely that this outcome was to some extent at least influenced by the fact that the Planning Commission had accepted the states' annual plans for the current year as prepared by the state governments without the customary pruning and paring. In the case of West Bengal, for instance, the Planning Commission accepted an annual plan of Rs 580 crore as prepared by the state government, though earlier, in March, it had been willing to agree to a plan of only Rs 554 crore. Other states have received the same generous dispensation. Thus the chief ministers assembled in New Delhi for the NDC meeting were perhaps in no mood to look their gift horses in the mouth. This was unfortunate because there is much in the Planframe which needs to be critically looked into.

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