Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Prime Minister Modi has announced that the Planning Commission would be wound up. This step has been publicly taken a day after the Parliament session ended, without any discussion in parliament or consultation with political parties or other concerned entities. This decision is in line with the prevailing neo-liberal view that there is no need even for a semblance of planning in a market oriented economy.
The role of the Planning Commission has already been curtailed in the last two decades under liberalization. What Modi has done is to give it a final burial. The Planning Commission had been tasked with certain allocation of resources under the plan, providing for a balanced development keeping in mind regional disparities and monitoring of important schemes and projects.
The Modi government claims that the Planning Commission was not in tune with the federal principle. That is why the CPI(M) had been advocating that the Planning Commission should be made an executive wing of the National Development Council so that it becomes a truly federal institution. But if the Planning Commission itself is dismantled, the allocation for states will be decided by the Finance Ministry which will only lead to further centralization and bring in political bias, as far as the states are concerned.
The Modi Government has not spelt out what will be put in place instead of the Commission. This is an arbitrary and adhoc move that will only facilitate the further private capital profit maximisation at the expense of curtailing even the existing meager resource allocation for peoples’ welfare programmes.