The primary task of the multi-level planning is related with the formulation of a comprehensive regional plan which could take into account the economic, social and environmental requirements of the area. It requires both intra-regional and interregional integration whose strategy will vary in different parts of the country. Following are the prerequisites that need to be established to enable a multi-level planning process to take off (Sundaram, 1999, p. 47).
(i) Familiarising the sub-state levels about the broad policies, goals and objectives of the proposed state plan and its various sartorial strategies, priorities and targets, so that the local plans would be consistent with the frame work of the state plan,
(ii) Defining a devolution package with adequate administrative, technical and financial powers to the various levels, covering the 29 subjects in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
(iii) Disaggregation and transfer of plan funds to Block Panchayats, village Panchayats, and urban local bodies on appropriate criteria,
(iv) Establishing District Planning Committees (DPCs) and Metropolitan Planning Committees (MPCs), as mandated in the 74th amendment of the Constitution.
(v) Establishing suitable supporting mechanisms for planning, coordination and participation, and operationlising the decentralized planning process according to methodology,
(vi) Making various administrative arrangements for:
(a) Establishing a time-bound planning process,
(b) Integrating the district plans into the State Plan,
(c) Organising the personnel in the local bodies for better performance and accountability,
(d) Budgetary control and other related matters,
(e) Review, monitoring and evaluation of plans, and
(vii) Making various administrative arrangements for the training of both officials and non- officials,
The above preconditions demand both institutional as well as administrative changes, which will be highly challenging to fully materialise and become operational. The States are still struggling to establish these pre-requisites. The most difficult aspect of the mythology here is ensuring the people’s participation. The people here mean, not only the elected bodies and the officials, but also experts (academics), volunteers and the mass people.