(Last Updated on : 18-05-2013)
Relation of Planning Commission with Union and State Government is bound to be close as the planning process requires close collaboration between the two. Social and Economic Planning constitutes item 20 in the Concurrent List of subjects, that is, subjects on which both the union government and state governments can legislate. This is a clear recognition of the fact that planning is and can only be a national subject which is of interest to both the governments. If the Commission is to formulate its plans and implement them successfully and effectively it must secure active cooperation and close collaboration of the union and state governments. This requires close organisational links between the Planning Commission on the one hand and the Union and State governments in India
on the other. As regards the link between the state Government and the Planning Commission, it has mainly been forged through two institutions- the National Development Council and the Programme Advisers. With reference to the Union Government, the links are much stronger as there are a number of organisational devices which have evolved over the years.
The Prime Minister of India, who is the real chief executive, has from the very beginning, filled the office of the Chairman of the Commission and has thus provided a link at the highest level. It is true that the Prime Minister does not attend all the meetings of the commission nor does he attend to its day-to-day business, which has been rightly left to the deputy chairman of the Commission. Nevertheless, the association of the Prime Minister at this level does lend much prestige and influence to the commission. Apart from the Prime Minister, a number of other ministers have in course of time been appointed as the members of the Commission.
An important link at the official level was forged at the very inception of the Commission by making the Cabinet Secretary the ex-officio Secretary to the Commission. This arrangement was certainly helpful in the beginning to bring about a close link between the government and the Commission. The Deputy Chairman of the Commission has from the very beginning provided the main working link between the Cabinet at the centre, the Chief Ministers of different states and the Commission. This link has been particularly effective when he also happened to be a Cabinet Minister. He is a permanent invitee to the meetings of the Cabinet and its Committees. Also, many officers of the Commission function as members of the various governmental committees and vice versa.
Thus it is evident from the ongoing discussion that the relation of the planning Commission with the Union and State Governments is a rather close one.