Modi government’s move to scrap Planning Commission was a blunder: Pranab
By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Former President Pranab Mukherjee did not approve of the Modi government’s decision of scrapping the Planning Commission.
In his autobiography, he has called the move a blunder.
Mukherjee wrote that his 2015 speech, drafted by the government, referred to the establishment of the NITI Aayog to take the place of the Planning Commission.
“While I was personally not enthused by the scrapping of the Planning Commission, which had been established in 1950, I did not wish to rake up a controversy by opposing it publicly. I personally feel it was a mistake, indeed a blunder, to do away with the plan panel.”
The former President mentioned that even the Planning Commission’s long tenure was not without controversies.
“Often, there were tiffs between the government and the plan panel, even during the Nehru era. Besides, I believe that transitions must be done in a smooth manner and with a human face.”
Mukherjee said the Commission derived its strength from the Mahalanobis Model, named after famous economist P C Mahalanobis.
Mahalanobis believed in state-directed investments, emphasised on heavy industries and public sector undertakings and a generally centralised economy.
“While some of these concepts may sound dated today, in the early years of Independence they served the country well, since they provided our policy planners a long-term growth road map through Five-Year Plans, which the Planning Commission of India was tasked with preparing,” he wrote.