National Development Council
The National Development Council was established in August 1952 by an executive resolution of the Government of India on the Recommendation of the First Five Year Plan (draft outline). Like that Planning Commission, it is neither a constitutional body or a statutory body. However, the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State Relations recommended that the National Development Council should be given constitutional status under Article 263 of the Constitution and should be renamed as National Economic and Development Council.
The National Development Council is composed of the following members:
Prime Minister of India (as its Chairman/Head)
All Union Cabinet Ministers (since 1967)
Chief Ministers of all states.
Chief Ministers/Administrators of all union territories.
Member of the Planning Commission.
The secretary of the Planning Commission as the Secretary of the National Development Council. It (National Development Council) also provided with administrative and other assistance for its work by the planning commission.
The National Development Council was established with following objectives:
to secure corporation of States in the execution of the Plan. This is the chief objective of National Development Council.
To strengthen and mobilize the efforts and resources of the nation in support of the Plan.
To promote common economic policies in all vital spheres.
To ensure balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.
To realize the above objectives, the National Development Council was assigned a set of functions by the 1952 Resolution (which created National Development Council). These functions were redefined and revised in 1967 on the recommendations of the Administrative Reform Commission of India. They are as follows:
To prescribe guidelines for preparations of the national plan.
To consider the National Plan as prepared by the Planning Commission.
To make an assessment of the resources which are required for implementing the Plan and to suggest measures for augmenting them.
To consider important question of social and economic policy affecting National Development
To review the working of the National Plan from time to time.
To recommend measures for achievement of the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.
The Draft Five Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission is first submitted to the Union Cabinet. After its approval, it is placed before the National Development Council, for its acceptance.
Then, the Plan is presented to the Parliament. With its approval, it emerges as the official Plan and published in the official gazette.
Therefore, the National Development Council is the highest body, below the Parliament, responsible for policies matters with regard to planning for social and economic development.
However, the National Development Council is listed as an advisory body to the Planning Commission and its recommendations are not binding. It makes its recommendations to the Central and State Governments. It should meet at least twice every year.