TODAY -

A paradigm shift in India's development approach : A boon or a bane
- Part 2 -

Dr S Benjamin Nattar *



The new body is not just a change in the nomenclature. Except for its nature as a non-Constitutional and non-Statutory body like the Planning Commission, in every other way the Aayog appears to be different. The Aayog basically incorporates broad philosophical than economic issues. It assures of designing strategic and long term policy and programme framework and initiatives and monitoring their progress and efficiency. Only in one place, the word 'plan' appears in its functions, 'to develop mechanism to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government'.

Special attention would be provided for those that may be at risk of not benefiting adequately from economic progress. It promises to undertake activities necessary for realising the objectives of national developmental agenda. The approach adopted by the new body is 'Bottom-up' model of development. Plans are to be initiated at the village (Gram) level and consolidated at the district and state level, while the final consideration and approval will be at the Central government level.

Funds may be allotted by the Finance ministry for the specific projects. It would be primarily a think-tank mechanism offering necessary inputs for planning and development. Its functions are still evolving and continue to be modified. It appears to be everywhere but found nowhere. Teachers of Political Science are still unaware of the functions and activities of NITI Aayog. On the contrary, Planning Commission had a clear cut functions, activities, achievements and of course failures in certain fronts. Despite the criticism by the state chief ministers, fund was allotted to states under 'plan' head.

Bottom-up model of development is definitely an ideal model of development in an ideal socio-political environment. This approach will work in states with long years of experience in development, transparency and accountability in administration at the grassroots. Kerala has been very successful in this endeavour as they had long years of planning at the village level. But in many other states especially the North Eastern states, adoption of this approach is highly doubtful.

For years they had been systematised to follow a routine set by Planning Commission with an assured fund. Development in specific areas did take place all over India. Plans formulated by the Commission were synchronised with the state plans. Moreover, the village level administration does not have the required technical and specialised expertise for preparation of plans. NITI Aayog till date seems to have not allotted any fund nor is there any replacement for fund allotment to states. For example, as reported in the media, Chief Ministers of North Eastern states have criticised the abolishing of Planning Commission.

"All the NE States are facing problems of money after abolishing of Planning Commission and forming NITI Aayog. Every state is now losing money because it is not clear how the plans would be finalised and implemented. All the states in the region were facing crisis of funds in implementing projects" said TR Zeliang, Nagaland Chief Minister. During the time of Planning Commission, there was scope for discussion between the state government and the Commission for finalising the plan outlay, but this scope has faded away.

"For the last 28 months after NITI Aayog was formed, there has been no discussion between it and Tripura government regarding planning. The state was losing over Rs 1800 crore per year after formation of the Aayog" (The Sangai Express Sept 21, 2016). This is the situation in almost all the states. States which were demanding the abolition of the Planning Commission, themselves face the huge loss as result of the abolition of the commission.

Another step taken by the Centre is to abolish the 'plan' money, as often the centre, becomes wary of state governments diverting 'plan' money for 'non-plan' expenditure. The present government, as part of their 'Perform-Reform-Transform', has taken steps to merge these two. Henceforth, there will be no more 'plan' money. Fund will flow to states for centrally sponsored schemes and all other grants will be allotted to the states on the basis of Finance Commission award. This effectively makes planning a redundant exercise as the resources for plan is unlikely to be granted in this present dispensation.

The new approach definitely has its positive and negative impact. Any institutional and functional change for better economic development is definitely welcome. Abolition of the Planning Commission for ideological and political reasons may not be in national interest. One understands that this Commission was a product of national necessity at the time of independence. It would be wrong to assume that the Commission has outlived its purpose and not able to address the changing needs of the new economic environment in India and the world.

It is not just that the commission is abolished, but together with it national planning, state planning, state planning departments, and even district and metropolitan planning boards set up by the 73rd Constitutional amendment etc, all face the threat of their extinction. The abolition of 'plan' money might tempt states to divert the 'revenue' expenditure fund meant for salary purpose to 'capital' expenditure, thus the salaries of Government employees may be the biggest casualty.

North Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, earlier placed under special category states, have lost the status and therefore a heavy burden is levied on them to execute any project. It is, however reported by the NITI Aayog officials that even though 'special category states' has been abolished, NE states and Himalayan states are 'still given funds in the 90:10 ratio'. They say that the process of development gives the state government an opportunity to decide their own plans.

But the fear is that how long the fund will be given in this ratio and whether there is surety of fund sanction from the centre for the state plans and projects. Even the latest move of the Government to demonetise 1000 and 500 rupee currency might serve the goal of curbing black and fake money. But it has adversely affected the economy in the present.

Innovative measures like 'Make in India', 'Start up', 'Swaach Bharat', 'Act East Policy' have yielded certain positive results. Private enterprises have boomed in the new environment. Foreign investments have increased. India's position as industrial destination has gone up. Employment opportunities have increased, as noticed in placement interviews held in educational institutes across the country.

The new recruits are happy to be employed, but under heavy work pressure. Wealth creation seems to be the main focus of all stakeholders. But the question is all at what costs. It has been asserted by many economists that Indian economy was able to withstand the world economic recession, because the fundamentals of our economy was strong.

Today we are able to move forward because of the strong base laid by the founding fathers of Indian economy, under the former system. What is to be done in the present is to promote a healthy synthesis between Private and Public sectors, under proper plans formulated and executed, not necessarily by Planning Commission, but even by the new body NITI Aayog.

If not, public undertakings, road and rail projects and public utility services might suffer as sufficient fund, allotted earlier by the Planning Commission, might be stopped. Taking advantage of the failure of the Public sector, private sectors will try to fill in the vacuum created by the former. Unrestricted capitalist model of development will become the policy of the government. Establishment of socialist pattern of society as visualised by the Constitution seems to be a far cry.

All in all, the nation seems to be heading towards a neo-liberal capitalist state. The ultimate victim will be the hapless common Indian. The social safety measures introduced by the Government may be a small relief. But the path towards development becomes murkier day by day. Only time has the answer to the myriad problems the nation faces.

Concluded....


* Dr S Benjamin Nattar wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Associate Prof, Dept of Political Science, Manipur College
This article was posted on December 08, 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [21 Jan] : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • MPs in Lok Sabha must be increased
  • Sri Hanumanji is universal :: WJ
  • Facing the consequences
  • Words of caution for the expendable citizens
  • 11 in line for Congress ticket
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • CAB, 2016: Ethnocide of Indigenous People
  • When 7th Pay & UGC regulations for college
  • Truthfully Yours :: Poem
  • Detox your hair
  • Job Openings at PR Enterprises, Imphal
  • Police action to protestors in Tripura
  • India in grave danger
  • Issues, issues everywhere, anytime
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • CAB Protest [17 Jan] : Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #3
  • Bird's Eye view at 'Go To School' Mission
  • 10 % reservation & ST demand ?
  • Poetic Justice - III :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Legislative Assistant to MP- Fellowship
  • The changing face of Manipuri youths
  • Rolling up sleeves for ST tag
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #1
  • Chongdeinem, Abothem :: eMing
  • ST Demand - Poster Campaign : Gallery
  • Retrospective View On Driver's Day
  • Integrated farming & its importance
  • Nightingales in winter :: Poem
  • Tour to Delhi for border area students
  • Nagaland Cabinet Meeting on CAB
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #1
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai, Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Understanding Mao Tse-Tung
  • Of Vernacular & my Enlightenment..
  • Teacher wanted at Tekcham High School
  • Demanding release of Kishorechandra
  • BJP's Agenda : Curtain raised
  • Topping in enrolment in pvt schools
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai :: Flash Presentation
  • CAB Protest [16 Jan] : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Cry of a Dying River - 62 :: Poem
  • Occasion & festivity as career choice
  • Rejoinder to NDPP on CAB by NPF
  • Saving tomorrow for our children
  • Open invitation to Mission schools
  • Women's Intl Polo [Jan 17] : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Manipur tops enrolment in private schools
  • Variance of laboratory results
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #2
  • Naga International Trade Fair at Dimapur
  • Has Loktak mortgaged to Company
  • CAB: Lining up public convention on Jan 20
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #2
  • CAB & scoring 21 out of 25 ?
  • Complications :: Poem
  • North East Business Summit at Delhi
  • Almond oil is the ultimate skin care
  • The Bill that haunt the government
  • Over 50 police personnel chargesheeted
  • Insurgency related incidents in NE states
  • Myanmar border fence going nowhere
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #1: Gallery
  • Crop diseases & organic way of managing
  • War and Poetry :: Poem
  • Landeng-Pena yakaiduna Poster Campaign
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Condemns communal nature of CAB 2016
  • PCC, Arunachal Pradesh on CAB, 2016
  • CAB and other issues before LS polls
  • Sit-In against CAB [Jan 14] : Gallery
  • CAB : Our Identity & Culture is at stake
  • Re-Imagining the Naga Peace Process
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Northeast Startup Summit 2019
  • Ponder them to live like human beings
  • No Shield for Manipur against CAB
  • Missing link: NE, CAB & obscure assurance
  • JCILPS Protest against CAB : Gallery
  • AMUCO Rally against CAB : Gallery
  • Poetic Justice - II :: Poem
  • Makar Sankranti Musing
  • Biren should release Kishorchandra
  • New archaeological site in Senapati
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #1
  • New craft gallery to promote NE products
  • Rights body warns Nagas on Article 371 (A)
  • NE Black Day against CAB : Gallery
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Myanmar-India Business Summit, Sagaing
  • Cry of a Dying River - 61 :: Poem
  • Preventing the Dengue threat
  • NPF on Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
  • Nagaland Chief Minister On CAB 2016
  • Hijacking by pseudoscience
  • Mr. CM, you can't fool people on CAB
  • CAB 2016: Adoption of foreign citizens
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • CAB & question of India's North East
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #1
  • Local actions for #GlobalGoals
  • Know your HIV status
  • Pope Francis - the last Pope!
  • CAB is unsecular discriminatory bill
  • When Govt. disregard Constitutions...
  • Citizenship Bill: An exceptional exception
  • The Walking Lady : A Short Story
  • 4th Convocation Ceremony of CAU
  • The Voice of Silence :: Poem
  • Against CAB 2016 : 6 Student Bodies
  • Need for a separate time zone
  • BOOM MMA : 'Manipur Top Team' members
  • Against Citizenship Bill Act 2016
  • Lt Gen Rajeev Sirohi at Spear Corps
  • Is the middle man responsible
  • Economically weak at Rs 8 lakh per annum ?
  • Umanglai Haraoba: Traditional Institution
  • Strike against CAB : Gallery
  • People - animal conflict
  • Fine on relieving in public
  • Flawed/divisive Citizenship Bill dangerous
  • Broken :: Poem
  • Meetei gi mayokta leiba Political party..
  • NE uniting under shutdown call : CAB
  • Trains in NE to get 'glass-top' coaches
  • Yubi Lakpi #2 : Gallery
  • Freedom's fault lines
  • Traditional Manipuri Curries
  • Governance in Multi-Ethnic States
  • Understanding animal welfare
  • Unite against corruption for development
  • Manipurgi Maraibk Kari Oihougani
  • On restoring of director of CBI
  • Citizenship Bill : scourge for NE
  • Feel good factor from UNC
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • A tale of two falcons
  • Artificial Insemination in livestock
  • The Naked Truth :: Poem
  • My itinerary visit to Veeranapalya
  • Test for Free Coaching for IIT/AIIMS
  • Critique of Transgender Persons Bill
  • Press Rejoinder from NPF [7 Jan]
  • Nagaland Cabinet on Citizenship Bill
  • Can we expect something from govt
  • Mova Cave, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Sumo Wrestling #2 :: Gallery
  • Maipaksana RK: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Poetic Justice - I
  • IIT-G Technology Incubation Centre
  • Sana Chahi Ahum & 1857 revolt #2
  • Economics of climate change & growth
  • Singhat Students tour to Delhi & Agra
  • Congress against Modi on Rafale Deal
  • Press Club celebrates foundation day
  • NSF to impose 11-hr bandh on Jan 8
  • 518 drug traffickers arrested in 2018
  • Gangmumei Kamei Memorial lecture
  • Taking the Street Vendor seriously #1
  • WWII museums in Japan: Gallery
  • Schedule : HSLC Examination 2019
  • Schedule : Class XI Examination 2019
  • Schedule : HSE Examination 2019
  • Caste System in Contemporary India: Book
  • Save energy and save your skin
  • Benefits of henna for beauty
  • Coronary In-stent obstruction treated
  • A take on PM visit to Imphal
  • No over the top promises, assurances
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #1: Gallery
  • Management of commercial broiler farming
  • 61st CC Meet Football Tournament 2019
  • Noise Ruins & Blights Lives
  • Social media & freedom of speech
  • Cry of a Dying River - 60 :: Poem
  • Declare war against air pollution
  • Winter relief at Thanga
  • Of monologues and conveniences
  • Raising posers before PM's arrival: Cong
  • Irengbam Bedamani :: eRang Photos
  • Poireiton Chakhao at Loktak Lake
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #1: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Evening Prog #2: Gallery
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #4: Gallery
  • Bye Bye 2018 !!! : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • A view of Ukhrul Town #1: Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • National Mathematics Day & Ramanujan
  • Snowfall @Tamei, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • China spreads across Indochina Peninsula
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #2: Gallery
  • Xmas: Churches @Lamphel : Gallery
  • The Crying Call of Motherland :: Poem
  • Kwatha Festival #3 : Gallery
  • Harvard Leadership Program at Don Bosco
  • Christmas @Churachandpur : Gallery
  • UN Rapporteur briefed on Kishorechand
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #3: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS