Many months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made an announcement that the Planning Commission of India will be replaced by a new body. However, the replacement has not happed yet. For the time being, only the name has been changed. The Planning Commission will now be renamed to NITI Ayog. NITI stands for National Institution for Transforming India. The Planning Commission of India was established in the year 1950.
A few weeks earlier, Prime Minister had called upon a meeting of the chief ministers to discuss the possible disbanding and reorganization of the Planning Commission. Most of the Chief Ministers had favored the idea of the reformation of the body which is from the Socialist era. However, some of the Chief Ministers from the Indian National Congress party were opposed to this idea.
Modi had suggested that the currently existing Planning Commission is not in line with the world economics and hence it needed a transformation. In fact, in his Independence Day speech he had even announced that the Commission will be replaced by another more appropriate body.
In an attempt to reason the Congress Chief Ministers, Modi had even cited what Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, had said about the existing Commission. Singh had stated on April 30, 2014 that our Planning Commission is not at all futuristic and does not align with the modern systems. The meeting of Chief Ministers had taken place on December 07.
Narendra Modi was quite clear that the currently existing Commission does not belong to the contemporary and reformed era. He stated that India needed a better and more effective organization which can give strength to the concept of cooperative federalism and also goes along well with the vision of Team India.
Modi had also hinted that the new body will comprise of some of the cabinet ministers, some of the chief ministers and the Prime Minister as well. The body will also include the experts and skilled people from different fields with exemplary past record in serving on such expert committees.
It looks like that with the renaming of the Planning Commission Modi is planning to bring about certain reforms within the body and certain operational changes which are more in sync with the current economy. This is in line with what Modi’s political party BJP had promised in their manifesto before the general elections. The complete replacement of the commission by another body may have to wait for some more time.