The plan of a country provides guidelines for policies and actions. In other words, the plans are the representations of goals and targets to be achieved in a certain specific period. Then the central issue before the planners is, how the plan be devised or formulated. More properly, what key decisions will be involved or what steps will be taken of plan formulation. All such is discussed bellow.
- CREATION OF PLANNING AGENCY
The first step in planning is to established a body or an organization which could be assigned the task of formulating an economic plan. Such body should not be created on ad hoc basis, rather it must be a permanent agency because it is to perform the function of long run economic growth. The planning organization must be headed by a chairman or a deputy chairman. Accordingly, it may be an autonomous body, or it may be attached with Ministry of Finance, and it may also be accorded as an independent organization which would operate under Cabinet, Prime-Minister or President of the country. Normally, planning commission is an independent body as the case of Pakistan. The Prime Minister is the chairman of planning commission, while the day to day functions are performed by Deputy-Chairman who is equivalent to a “Federal Minister”. At the provincial level, there are planning and development boards which work under Pakistan Planning Commission (PPC). The provincial planning boards send their developmental programs to PPC which includes them in national plan. The Pakistan planning commission consists of members, secretary, principal economist, chief economist, joint chief economists and section chiefs etc.
The planning organization must have three types of personal like
- Professional economists
- Statisticians and
- The staff which could serve as an intermediary between those which formulate the plan and those who execute the plan. As far as Pakistan is concerned, the PPC is an authority which under the instructions of Govt. Prepares the plans, programs and policies etc. The planning commission after analyzing the feasibility of different projects, and schemes, etc. Presents its recommendations and findings to National Economic Council (NEC) which is top decision making authority in Pakistan. The federal ministers, governors of all the provinces and deputy chairman planning commission are the member of NEC.
The planning agency must have different sections and each section should deal with the separate issue like NI, employment, foreign trade, transport, works and communication, manpower planning, industry, health and education etc. The planning commission should have those sections also which could analyze the economic and technical feasibilities of projects. Such sections be furnished with trained and professional economists; trained statisticians who could accumulate as well as analyze the statistical data and; those intelligent and professional researchers who could review the developmental plants and development of other countries.
- MORE AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY
Planners, mostly, have to depend upon statistical data in connection with getting knowledge and information about the country. But it is not sufficed. Every information cannot be represented quantitatively. So many issues regarding planning like social set-up of the people, outlook of the people and behavior of the people can not be expressed in numbers. Accordingly, to alter the poor social set-up, outlook and rigid behavior of the people the planners do not have to depend upon statistical data, rather the planners will have to depend upon intuition.
However, one cannot deny that it is the statistics about the major sectors of the economy which serve as main guidance for the planners. The countries, particularly UDCs which are engaged in planning efforts, differ in resources etc. As it is said that the figures are the products of the history and every country has its own history. Therefore, the main issue before the formulation of plan, is to specify the characteristics of the economy which will determine the uniqueness of the economy. No doubt, the history, the experiences and statistics of other countries help in broadening one’s perception in locating and identifying causes and consequences and even in solving certain problems, but they do not represent true picture of the country concerned. A planner or a team of planners must have an enough knowledge regarding the fields like sociology, religion, politics and ethics in addition to economic conditions. In respect of economic structure the planners must have knowledge regarding the physical and human resources both in past and in present. This all will give the planners the exact shape of the country.
- NATURE OF THE PLAN
Once the planning authority is established and the authority gets the knowledge in respect of the economy on the basis of necessary statistics, the next issue is to determined the nature of the plan, I.e, what types of planning will be followed in the country. In this connection, the planners will have to make a choice in between the following: whether the planning will be made on micro basis or on macro basis. The micro economics planning is concerned with the planning in a few sectors of the economy. “While” macro economic planning encompasses the whole economy. Again it is to be decided that whether the planning will be functional or structural. The planning which does not alter the relatives proportion of different sectors of the economy is called functional planning. While the planning meant for bringing changes in the structure of the economy is known as structural planning. Furthermore, whether the types of plan pursued in the country should be centralized one or decentralized one. Most importantly, it is to be chosen whether for monetary arranging, the arranging by heading or arranging by bearing or arranging by affectation will be taken after. Moreover, whether the plan will be of short term period, medium term period or of long term period. In a nutshell, while arranging or figuring a monetary arrangement the organizers should pick in the middle of an assortment of sorts of arranging. Be that as it may, each kind of arranging has its own particular advantages and disadvantages. Which types of planning will be opted depends upon the political conditions, social set-up and economic conditions of the country. If we analyze Pakistan we find that our planning is induced, decentralized, functional and medium term.