centralised planning, adopted after independence, is
unscientific, wasteful, anti-people and undemocratic. The only
scientific planning methodology is regional planning. It has
great similarity with the traditional planning practices of
India called Vastu Shastra. Vastu Shastra is designed for and
highly sensitive to tropical ecology and land use planning for
sustainability. It proposes proper location of human settlements
and other activities, sound housing typology, environmental
protection, use of waste, and such other matters.
Exploitative forest management and neglect of social development
and land use planning during the colonial period, followed by
Soviet type centralised planning during 50 years since
independence, have given a severe jolt to social, environmental
and economic planning in India.
Regional planning, now further facilitated by satellite imagery
and geographic information systems, is widely practised in most
well managed democracies. Significantly, it has great similarity
with Vastu Shastra, the ancient Indian science of planning.
Articles 243ZD and 243ZE of the present Constitution on district
and metropolitan planning have already mandated scientific
regional planning in India. Soviet type centralised planning
has, as a result, become unconstitutional and needs to be
Planning and its administration
city, state and national government shall have a
"Department of Environment and Planning" for
administration of regional planning headed by a sensitive
minister. Planning consultants commissioned by the village or
district governments will, interact with village communities and
ascertain their needs and aspirations. Taking into consideration
the available financial and environmental resources, they will
prepare plans for village governments constituting subdistricts
in consultation with local communities, covering socioeconomic,
infrastructure and environmental resources expressed in
analytical, quantitative and spatial forms, providing for public
and private investment, and obtain approval from the village
Similarly, city governments shall engage consultants to prepare
city plans. The district governments will negotiate the sharing
of environmental resources and infrastructure between the
village and city governments and prepare draft district plans.
The state planning and environment ministries will then
coordinate the district and city plans with the available state
level infrastructure to prepare draft state plans. The national
planning and environment ministries will then coordinate these
plans with national level infrastructure to prepare national
plans. Such regional planning will be a reiterative, ongoing
process within the framework of a 20 year perspective plan. The
present Planning Commission handling Soviet type centralised
planning shall be abolished.
Household, not Development, Economics
discipline of development economics based on centralised
planning and allocation of funds by the national and states
governments based on preconceived plan schemes is wasteful and
totally flawed. It alienates the people from the decision-making
processes and often does not suit local aspirations. What is
needed is housewife economics, that is, local governments do
housekeeping while the state and national governments handle
higher level functions.
Resource management and decision-making processes shall be
restructured accordingly, based on scientific regional planning.
Note: Many economists have done outstanding work in development
economics, some have even acquired international distinction ---
but in a fake discipline!