15-YR DEVELOPMENT AGENDA TO REPLACE FIVE-YEAR PLANS

NEW DELHI: Five-year plans, one of the last links to Nehru’s economic policies, will soon be history. The Narendra Modi government has decided to discontinue the plans after the current one, which ends in March next year, and replace it with a longer vision of 15 years that will factor in social goals and sustainable development goals.

Starting next financial year, the NDA government intends to put in place a seven-year strategy as part of what will be called a ‘National Development Agenda’ (NDA) to convert the long-term vision into a policy statement that can be implemented, sources familiar with the decision taken by the Prime Minister’s Office said. Unlike the five-year plans, which largely focused on social and economic sectors, the ‘NDA’ will also extend to defence and internal security.

The ‘NDA’ will be reviewed every three years with the first mid-term appraisal due in 2019-20, the year the next Finance Commission award is implemented and a new Lok Sabha is elected. “By aligning it to the Finance Commission, the government is trying to ensure that financial resources are available,” said a source.

The Finance Commission is tasked with deciding the division of the Centre’s tax revenue with states and local bodies every five years.

Since taking charge two years ago, the Modi government has abolished the Planning Commission, which was set up by Nehru in 1950, and replaced it with NITI Aayog which is no longer involved with the allocation of plan funds.

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