By Dr Kashiwa Bulaya
Combination of the Sectoral and Provincial or Regional Planning The combination of the Sectoral and provincial aspects of the plan similarly represents a principle of planning, that is the Government plan is worked out by the sectoral Ministries and in collaboration with Provinces through the Provincial Planning Committees. The development and intensification of the social division of labour leads to the formation of new sectors and the inter-sectoral connections. Sectoral planning concentrates its attention on the key development problems of the given sector of the economy, stipulates the requirements through a single technical policy within the bounds of the sector and strives to ensure the maximum satisfaction of public demand for the products of that sector. National planning leads to the over-all development of the economy of the country which includes Provinces. National planning co-ordinates, unites and ties up plans for the allocation of the productive forces to all sectors and districts in the country. Co-ordination of Long-term Plans and Annual Development Plans Co-ordination of long-term and annual plans is also one of the principles of planning in socio-economic development of the country. This means that planners co-ordinate long-term and annual plans varying in durations. Long-term plans play a leading role in the system of economic planning. The basic form of state economic planning in many countries is the five-year plan. In some countries even ten-year development plans are worked out. Solutions to important tasks of social and economic development of society are provided for in long-term and medium-term plans. As a rule, long-term plans contain a comparatively small number of indicators. The tasks of long-term plans are specified and defined more precisely in the five-year and annual plans. The combination of long-term and annual planning ensures the continuity of planning and planned targets. It permits both long-term and current interests and possibilities of the economy to be taken into consideration in plans. Proportional Development of the Economy Another important principle of planning is the ensuring of dynamic and proportional development on the basis of determination of the main sections of the plan. Proportional development does not mean that all branches of the economy should develop at the same rate. At every stage in the development of society the main sections of the plan are determined, that is , those sectors and branches of the economy which have a decisive influence on the whole economy. Determination of the key sectors enables the Government to concentrate the available material, labour and financial resources on the decisive sectors of the economic structure and ensure that way the proportional development of the whole economy. Some Challenges of the Ministry of National Development Planning; In January, 2015 shortly after his election as the Sixth President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu created the Ministry of National Development Planning. At that time Her Honour the Vice Pesident of the Republic of Zambia, Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina MP was also appointed Minister of National Development Planning. Following his re-election as President of the Republic of Zambia on 11th August, 2016 His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu nominated Hon. Lucky Mulusa, a veteran Parliamentarian as Member of Parliament and subsequently appointed him to the position of Minister of National Development Planning. The desire by President Lungu to take development and plan the same to all corners of the country prompted His Excellency the President to create the Ministry of National Development Planning. The following are some of the challenges of the Ministry of National Development Planning: (a) Planning Rates of Economic Development and the proportions of Social Production; (1) Planning rates of economic development, (2) Planning the proportions of social development, (3) Planning the standards of living of the people, (4) Planning the location of social production, and (5) Planning the location of social production and regional or provincial structure of the economy. (b) Planning of capital investments; (1) The role of capital investment in economy, (2) Planning the volume and structure of capital development, and (3) Determination of the economic efficiency of capital investment. (c) Planning Sectoral Development; (1) Planning industralisation of the economy, (2) Planning industrial production, (3) Planning agricultural production, (4) Planning infrastructural construction, (5) Transport planning, (6) Planning the development of extractive industries (industries extracting raw materials), (7) Planning the manufacturing industries, and (8) Planning internal trade. (d) Planning Productive Resources; (1)Planning labour resources-training and utilisation of human resources, (2)Planning productive and non-productive assets, (3)Planning the use of natural resources, and (4)Planning scientific and technological progress, (e) Planning the rise in Living Standards; (1)Planning the volume and structure of consumption, (2)Planning personal incomes, and (3)Planning the development of the service industry. (f) Planning foreign economic ties; (1) General principles for planning foreign economic ties, (2) Planning foreign trade, and (3) Planning financial co-operation with foreign countries, financial institutions and organisations. In the discharge of its Ministerial duties, the Ministry of National Development Planning is encouraged to look at some national economic planning methods such as: (1) The balance method, (2) Mathematical Economic Models and Methods, (3) Optimal Planning Methods, and (4) Programming-by- Objectives. The indicators of reproduction such as general information on indicators, universal and macroeconomic indicators, sectoral indicators etc. deserve attention in national development planning activities. In conclusion, social production and national development planning or any development plan be it Short-term Development Plan, Medium-term Development Plan, Long-term Development Plan, First National Development Plan, Second National Development Plan, Third National Development Plan, Fourth National Development Plan, Fifth National Development Plan, Sixth National Development Plan, Seventh National Development Plan etc. should satisfy the material and cultural needs for mankind and move society from one stage of development to another for the attainment of social progress.