Functions of Planning Commission (Planning Machinery in India)

The Planning Commission in India

Note: The Planning Commission of India was scrapped and dissolved in 2014. In its place, NITI Aayog was formed on 1st January, 2015. The Chairperson of the Aayog is the Prime Minister. It is presently headed by our current Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi (Updated 8th May, 2015).

The Planning Commission in India come into existence on the basis of a Government of India resolution adopted on March 15th, 1950.

That resolution says that the need for a comprehensive, planning based on a careful appraisal of resources and objective analysis of all the relevant factors has become imperative.

“That resolution conceives the planning commission as an organization” free from the burden of day to day administration but in constant touch with the government at the highest level.

Functions of Planning Commission in India

The resolution of March 15, 1950 creating the Planning Commission in India enjoined to the following functions :

  • make an assessment of the material capital and human resources of the country and to suggest ways of augmenting them;
  • formulate a plan for the most effective and balanced utilization of the country’s resources;
  • determine priorities of the plan and to allocate resources to different sectors of the plan;
  • remove factors retarding economic growth in the current socio-political scenario of the country;
  • build up machinery for the successful implementation of the plan ;
  • appraise progress achieved in the execution of plan from time to time and to bring about necessary adjustment in policy and thrusts of the plan;
  • make necessary changes in both policy and implementation of the plan in accordance with the advice or recommendation received from the central or the State Governments.

The Planning Commission in India as constituted on the basis of government of India resolution in 1950 had only six members including Prime Minister Nehru as its Chairman. Originally most of the members of the commission were themselves central ministers besides the Prime Minister who is the chairman of the Planning Commission there is also a deputy chairman and beside the full time members of the commission, there are also some part time members. The number of members and part time members of the commission is never fixed. Usually important ministers of the centre such as the Finance Home and Defence Ministers are made members of the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission as originally constituted was but an arm of government of India. The state governments had no participation in it or had no role to play in the planning process. To remove these defects The National Development Council ( NDC) was created in 1952. The National Development Council was to consist of the Prime Minister as its chairman, the Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories and the members of the commission. The National Development Council was conceived as a super planning body. It acts as a forum in which the Prime Minister. Union Ministers, the Chief Ministers of states and members of the Planning Commission interact at all stages of planning. Plans are formulated by the Planning Commission and approved the National Development Council before they are presented to the Parliament and the state legislatures. In this way plans formulated by the planning commission received a national character.

Functions of National Development Council (N.D.C)

The function of the National Development Council is

  • to review the working of the national plan from time to time :
  • to consider important questions of social and economic policies effecting national planning and.
  • to recommend measures for the achieving aims and targets of the national plan. It also aims at ensuring participation of the states and through the states, of the people in the planning process.
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