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

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Off With Its Head

Without much thought or foresight the Planning Commission is to be done away with.

Much like the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland who kept saying “Off with its head”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decreed that the 64-year-old Planning Commission should be disbanded. No known consultation within the central government, no consultation with the states, no mention in the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party and no prior consultation with the citizenry. The 15th of August was chosen to announce that a new body will take the place of the Planning Commission and now we have the charade of everyone being asked to give their suggestions on the internet.

The Planning Commission, as the agent of “state planning”, has been, in the eyes of free marketers, the biggest culprit of all that apparently went wrong in the economy in the first four decades after Independence. Those without a sense of history do of course have the luxury of projecting self-serving opinions. The planners themselves in hindsight did accept that many errors were made during the heyday of planning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, especially in their neglect of the wage goods (food, clothing and such consumer goods) and export sectors.

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