Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Planning in India

These past few days I have been reading a lot on National Planning in India. I have read a few books now and one of the common themes that seems to run across the board is that the early planners were not really for protection of industries or anything like that. They seem to have been oriented more towards letting markets take care of themselves except for a few major areas such as ordnance, railways, and the like. Slow growth was a conscious policy to aid rapid industrialization of the economy. Local administration was given the responsibility to submit and carry out plans. However, as is always and everywhere the system deteriorated soon due to political factors and special interest groups. The Planning Commission when it was formed was supposed to be non-political, but Nehru chaired it and made it his own fiefdom. In addition, there seems to be a lot of healthy criticism against planning and a broad minded approach towards the whole idea. However, sometime after the third plan all that seems to have changed towards centralization, and a more totalitarian regime. It is interesting to read older documents and books that are intellectually based on sound economics and the then prevailing mainstream economics which was Keynesian, neo-classical and very pro socialist than current texts which are ideologically biased left irrespective of the economics. There is much to read and learn about India and a lifetime will not be sufficient.

1 comment:

Mike G said...

Reading your blog, and witnessing the level of interest you have in your subject is convicting. I am starting a graduate program at Oklahoma University in economics and reading some of your blogs never fails to spark my interest.