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Issue No.: 571 | January 2015
 

The Late unlamented Planning Commission

The Mint
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During his term as prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi once called members of the Planning Commission "a bunch of jokers” after he disagreed with the Commission’s incremental approach. But the real truth, as the fall of centrally-planned economies across the world showed soon enough, was that Soviet-style planning itself was a circus. In India’s case, however, the real tragedy isn’t that we reposed our faith in planning to begin with, rather the fact that it has taken a quarter of a century post the economic liberalization reforms in 1991 for politicians to realize that the Planning Commission has to be wound up. Despite accepting that centralized planning only had an indicative role in a market-driven economy, successive governments persisted with the farce of central and state plans. By their very existence these plans curtailed the free play of market forces, reducing opportunities for private entrepreneurship and eventually inhibited India’s growth. Thankfully, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demise of the Planning Commission in his Independence Day speech and detailed discussions are now underway about replacing it with an institution more in sync with the demands of times.

Excerpted from The Mint, December 9, 2014. For the full text visit 
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/ F1qw9QlsbwFP5XJRaAf0hL/Undoing-the-ills-of-the-PlanningCommission.html?ref=newsletter&utm_source=copy
 
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