Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first speech from Red Fort on the Independence Day, announced that the government would replace the Planning Commission with a new body, bringing the curtains down on the 64-year old institution founded on the former Soviet Union’s command-style development model.
India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, inspired by the Gosplan aided industrialization of the Soviet Union, set up the Planning Commission in 1950. The dominant view at the time, drawn from Fabian socialism, backed the need for state-led planned industrialization and development. For the first eight Plans, the emphasis was on a growing public sector with massive public investments in basic and heavy industries.
The commission, housed at Yojana Bhawan a few hundred yards away from Parliament House, emerged as the government’s primary go-to think-tank for policy prescriptions. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as President Pranab Mukherjee both served as the Planning Commission’s deputy chairperson, the body’s topmost executive. The prime minister is the chair- person of the commission.
– Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief