The Five-year plan

The Prime Minister has come up with a bold new proposal to do away with the traditional five year planning system.

He has two main arguments around it.

The first is that by the time a new party comes to power the five-year plan is already drafted and made by the former government and so not many changes can be made to it, especially around areas concerning the local government.

This, he feels, hampers a party as they cannot promise much new things and will have to largely stick to the draft plan.

The second reason is that the long-term five-year plan forces an agency or individual to plan for development for five years down the line when the situation is more different.

This brings about a lack of flexibility in financial planning and the budgets of the governments which look very similar to the next.

The PM is right on both the above counts as it is high time that we ensure our five-year plans are more dynamic, especially in response to a rapidly changing world where entire economic systems can change in less than five years.

It is also important that political parties coming into office should have some flexibility and their programs should not be largely set by the former government.

The budgeting process also needs reform as we can clearly do more with less.

The PM will have achieved a lot if he can reduce waste and get better results from the civil service.

However, with all the above being said it is important to plan properly and tread cautiously.

As flawed as the current system is, the new system should only be adopted after extensive studies, consultations and tests.

A new system not properly planned or tested especially at such a large scale can create havoc in governance and even the economy.

So while the PM should carry out reforms it should be based in a lot of logic, consultation and pilot tests.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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