The Planning Commission is an institution in the Government of India, which formulates India’s Five-Year Plans, among other functions. It is located at Yojana Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi. The Planning Commission was established in March 1950 by an executive resolution of the Government of India, on the recommendation of the Advisory Planning Board constituted in 1946, under the chairman of K C Neogi. Thus, the Planning Commission is neither constitutional nor a statutory body.
In India, it is the supreme organ of planning for social and economic development. It is not responsible for taking and implementing decisions. This responsibility rests with the Central and State governments. The Planning Commission does not derive its creation from either the Constitution or statute.
The Planning Commission is only a staff agency- an advisory body and has no executive responsibility. The critics have described it as a ‘Super Cabinet’, an ‘Economic Cabinet’ a ‘Parallel Cabinet’, the ‘Fifth Wheel of the Coach’ etc.
Read Also: History of Planning Commission in India
Functions of Planning Commission
- To make an assessment of material, capital and human resources of the country and investigate the possibilities of augmenting them.
- To formulate a plan for the most effective and balanced utilization of the country’s resources.
- To determine priorities and to define stages in which the plan should be carried out.
- To indicate the factors that retarded economic development.
- To determine the nature of the machinery required for successful implementation of the plan at each stage.
- To appraise, from time to time, the progress achieved in the execution of the plan to recommend necessary adjustments.
- To make appropriate recommendations for facilitating the discharge of its duties, or on a matter referred to it for advice by Central or state governments.
Also, Read: Planning Commission of India
The composition of the Commission has undergone a lot of change since its inception. With the prime minister as the ex officio Chairman, the committee has a nominated Deputy chairman, who is given the rank of a full Cabinet Minister. Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia is presently the Deputy Chairman of the Commission.
Cabinet Ministers with certain important portfolios act as ex officio members of the Commission while the full-time members are experts of various fields like Economics, Industry, Science, and General Administration.
The Commission works through its various divisions, of which there are two kinds: General Planning Divisions and Programme Administration Divisions.
In March 2013, Planning Commission launched a massive social media campaign for spreading Awareness about 12th Five Year Plan.
The Prime minister of India has been the chairman of the commission. He presides over the meetings of the commission. The commission has a member-secretary. He is usually a senior member of IAS. The commission has four to seven full-time expert members. They enjoy the rank of a minister of state.