India PM axes Soviet-style economic planning body
Published on Aug 15, 2014 10:23 PM
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's new right-wing premier Narendra Modi announced on Friday an end to Soviet-style economic planning in an Independence Day speech as he pressed ahead with overhauling cumbersome government policymaking.
Modi said he was scrapping the Planning Commission - a relic of socialist policies put in place by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was impressed by the former Soviet Union's centralised planning and five-year economic blueprints.
The commission, set up in 1950 to set economic growth and social development targets, was relevant for India in its immediate post-independence days, said Modi, who took office in May after a landslide election win by his Bharatiya Janata Party.
"But the prevalent situation in the country is different," Modi told a huge crowd at the historic Red Fort in Old Delhi in a speech marking India's 68th year of independence.
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