Mainstream, VOL LIV No 20 New Delhi May 7, 2016
Alternative National Plan and State-level Plans Badly Needed
Saturday 7 May 2016
At a time when the processes and infra-structure of planning have been badly derailed in the country with the unceremonious dismantling of the Planning Commission, a challenge that should be taken up by indepen-dent scholars working with the cooperation of various people’s movements is to prepare alternative plans both at the national and State levels. This will help to give the people a more specific idea of what well-planned development effort based on justice, equality and environ-mental comprehension can achieve. For the sake of plurality of views to emerge it will be even more useful if several such efforts are made but the non-negotiable principles for all these efforts should be justice at all social and economic levels, equality including the more specific objective of meeting the basic needs of all people and protection of environment with special emphasis on tackling the emerging survival issues such as climate change.
In this context a concrete exercise can be to prepare a plan linking the essential reduction of greenhouse gases with the fulfilment of the basic needs of all people. Such exercises can be made at all levels, including the panchayat level and the village level to begin with. Such efforts have an international significance and can be of great relevance both within and outside the country.
In fact these efforts of alternative planning can be an improvement on the earlier official planning as these need not be constrained by a narrow paradigm of development. Efforts should be made to integrate social and ecological issues with economic issues to a much greater extent than was achieved under the official plans.
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