15-year Development Agenda to replace five-year plans; to include internal security, defence

The decades-old five-year plans will now make way for a larger and more focused 15-year “National Development Agenda” that will include internal security and defence as well. Cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, the new blueprint will be implemented after the last of the five-year plans, the 12th (2012-17) ends next year. A top government source told ET that the Prime Minister had given his go-ahead to the proposed plan that seeks to marry long-term planning, regular reviews and stringent monitoring into one coherent scheme. The plan process in the country has in the past drawn criticism from various quarters due to the absence of long-term focus present in other countries. The NDA government that remodelled the erstwhile Planning Commission to NITI Aayog has been keen on drawing up long-term development blueprint and had been contemplating doing away with the five-year plans.

This marks the end to the Nehruvian five-year plan model of country’s development in a radical shift in the process. The NITI Aayog has been asked to formulate the long-term 15 -year development blueprint of the country keeping in view the millennium development goals and needs of India. As per the proposed blueprint, there will be a shorter seven-year action plan within the larger framework and a review within three years for any course correction, the source said. For the first time, internal security and defence have been included in the plan process so that the long-term planning element can be brought into these areas, for better preparation. These subjects were traditionally not part of the plan process.

In his Budget speech this year, Finance minister Arun Jaitley had stated that his government would do away with the Plan and Non-Plan distinction from the 2017-18, thus giving enough indication that the process of five-year plan would come to an end with the end of 12th Plan. The three-year time frame from 2017-18 to 2019-20 will be aligned to the predictability of financial resources during the 14th Finance Commission award period. The current government has set robust social sector targets for itself, the biggest being Swachh Bharat by 2019 and Housing for All by 2022.

The NITI Aayog will create a dashboard for constant monitoring, evaluation and reviewing and also fix up outcome targets for all major schemes of infrastructure and social sectors. A plan for the current financial year would be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by later this month, the source said.

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ Date- 13 May, 2016