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

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NDC Ritual

THE 41st meeting of the National Development Council on June 18 and 19, called to discuss the "Approach to the Eighth Five-Year Plan, 1990-95", is supposed to have been marked by bonhomie. This has been remarked upon presumably because of the contrast with the NDCs last meeting in March 1988 when tempers had run high. Of course, this time too there hung a cloud of uncertainty over the meeting as a result of the absence of deputy prime minister Devi Lai, ostensibly on account of ill health but, as everyone knew, in fact to show his displeasure with the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission and his team. There was evidently general agreement at the meeting with the broad lines taken in the Planning Commission's Approach document, namely, (i) allocation of at least 50 per cent of investment to the rural sector; (ii) effective decentralisation of planning; and (iii) a substantial step- up of the rate of growth of employment. There was no quarrel with the quantitative targets either, whether the overall growth rate or the required increase in savings. But there were clear differences between the centre and the states and among the states on how the objectives agreed upon were to be achieved.

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