The Economic Planning Unit is the principal government agency responsible for the preparation of development plans for the nation. The unit was established in 1961 as the Economic Secretariat of the Economic Committee under the Executive Council of the then Federation of Malaysia. Its objective then was to "focus on development planning, on major problems in plan execution and on all forms of foreign aid". In that year, the Government also established the National Planning Development Committee with the Economic Planning Unit as its secretariat. While the Cabinet continued to retain the ultimate responsibility for planning in the country, the National Development Planning Committee was assigned the responsibility for the formulation, implementation, progress evaluation and revision of development plans. Since its establishment almost 56 years ago, EPU functions have remained primarily unchanged although it has taken on additional functions in consonance with the changing emphasis of development policy.