15-year Development Agenda to Replace Five-Year Plans


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

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 , the new blueprint will be implemented after the last of the five-year plans, the 12th (2012-17) ends next year.

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 

15-year "National Development Agenda" 

Gone are the 5-year plans of Planning Commission. In its place, the NITI Aayog will set goals for 15 years, with interim targets at 7- and 3-year marks to keep development plans on track
Here are 5 key changes Niti Aayog has made in the last couple of years:

(1) A new planning timeline

The Niti Aayog sets a 15-year plan for government actions for achieving social goals such as poverty reduction, and improving health and sanitation.
Another seven-year strategy document for 2017-24 will chart out policy action outlined as the “National Development Agenda”.
A three-year “Action Agenda” from 2017-18 to 2019-20 is being worked out to assess funding requirements.

(2) Unshackling agriculture

The plan panel proposed major changes in the agricultural produce marketing committee act, the law that sets in place systems to ensure farmers get a fair deal for their produce and are not exploited. Once implemented by states, the APMC changes will be one of the biggest reforms in the country.
The panel has also drawn up an agricultural marketing and farmer-friendly reforms index to assess and encourage states to implement new rules.
At present, more than two-thirds of Indian states have not been able to reach even the halfway mark of reforms score in the year 2016-17.

(3) Preparing for second Green Revolution

Increasing crop yields to feed 1.23 billion Indians is high on the agenda of the government. A task force, headed by Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, also suggested ways of raising agricultural productivity and making farming remunerative for farmers. The panel suggested reforms in land leasing policies, ramping up of land records and land titles, preparing the country for the second “Green Revolution” in eastern states, and addressing farmers’ distress.

(4) Cashless transactions

After the demonetisation of high-value notes in November, Niti Aayog has driven new initiatives to push Indians to go for digital payments. It has been training officials of various ministries, at the central and state levels alike, to adopt digital modes of transaction. It announced award programmes for businesses and individuals to use cashless transactions.
The Centre allocated Rs 50 crore to states for moving 5 crore no-frill Jan Dhan accounts to the digital platform.

(5) Improving health, education and access to water

The plan panel came up with indices for measuring states’ performance in health, education and water management. The indices helping states gauge the results of social programmes, compete with each other and share best practices and innovations.
The Aayog also suggested clubbing various social programmes and centrally-sponsored schemes under 28 umbrella projects.
The panel suggested changes in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, skill development, poverty measurement, Atal Innovation Mission.



Saturday, 17th Jun 2017, 08:07:13 PM

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