one of the major reasons why we have disparities and backwardness despite years of development programs and initiatives and investment across regions and sectors is that planning and decision-making have been largely centralized without enough representation from the grassroots level.
centralized planning is not efficient unresponsive and has a process to be reversed with the involvement of all hierarchical levels in administration and in political institutions. For most of our planning history, the lower hierarchical levels have been more involved in the implementation process while we continue to lack resources and authority for effective implementation.
Multi Level Planning
multi-level planning is therefore an example of Bottom to top approach and grassroots empowerment to make the decision-making effective and relevant.
the following are principles of MLP
- Principle of power and function sharing
- principle for administrative decentralization
- principle of financial decentralization
- principle of public participation
- principle of nesting
this is to ensure that planning and decision making is a part of a larger integrated process and the initiatives and aspirations at the grassroots should not be disconnected and should not be in contrast to the broader objective and larger national interest. there should be convergence between national priorities and local aspirations.
The history of multi level planning
the first and second five-year plan gave the concept of common community-based development called local community development programme LCDP
in 1960 is balwant Rai Mehta committee recommended 3 tier for administrative decentralization
- village panchayat
- Panchayat Samiti at the block level
- Zilla Parishad at the district level
in 1974 ARC suggested
- District planning should be related to local areas
- there should be resource allocation for local programs
- the district should have the authority to decide sectoral financial outlay.
in 1978 dantevada committee suggested block level planning
Ashok Mehta committee suggested strengthening of planning at district level by placing district level officers at District rural development agency headed by district magistrate.
In 1982 hanumantrao committee suggested administrative decentralization it should include financial independence at district level
In 1985 sarkaria commission suggested setting up of state finance commission for transferring resources from the state to the lower levels
in a 1992 73rd amendment implemented most of the above recommendation and Panchayati institution was given constitutional status
multi level planning is a part of larger democratic decision making and planning in the country. It is the most important necessity for inclusive and more responsive planning process. As a concept it is a very progressive concept. But for its full implementation financial autonomy development of human resources and enabling the grassroot institutions with proper technology machinery and best practices required.