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  • Economic Planning is a term used to describe the long term plans of government to co-ordinate and develop the economy with efficient use of resources.
  • Economic Planning is the making of major economic decisions. What and how is to be produced and to whom it is to be allocated – by the conscious decision of a determinate authority, on the basis of a comprehensive survey of the economic system as a whole.
  • Economic planning in India was stared in 1950 after independence, it was deemed necessary for economic development and growth of the nation.
  • The idea of Five year planning was taken from the erstwhile Soviet Union under socialist influence of first Prime Minister Jawahar lal Nehru.

Features of economic planning:

  • Fixation of definite socio-economic targets;
  • Prudent efforts to achieve these targets within a given time period;
  • Existence of a central planning authority;
  • Complete knowledge about the economic resources of the country;
  • Efficient utilization of limited resources to get maximum output and welfare.
  • Economic self-reliance.
  • Social justice and reduction of inequalities.
  • Modernization of the economy.
  • Economic stability for prosperity

Objective of Economic Planning in India

Indian Economic Planning And Five Years Plans In India

  • Rapid Economic Development
  • Quick Improvement in the Standard of Living
  • Removal of Poverty:
  • Rational Allocation and Efficient Utilization of Resources
  • Increasing the Rate of Capital Formation
  • Reduction in Unequal Distribution of Income and Wealth
  • Reduction of Unemployment and Increase in Employment Opportunities
  • Reorganization of Foreign Trade
  • Regional Balanced Development

Indian Economic Planning And Five Years Plans In India


First plan(1951 to 56)

  • It was based on Harrod-Damor model
  • Community development programme was launched in 1952
  • Emphasised technical, price stability, power and transport
  • It was more than a success, because of good are blessed in the last two years

Major focus point of first 5-year plan:

  • Industrial sector
  • Energy and Irrigation
  • Transport and Communications
  • Land rehabilitation
  • Social services
  • Developments of agriculture and community
  • Miscellaneous issues in India

Some important events that took place during the tenure of the 1st five-year plan: The following Irrigation projects were started during that period:

  • Mettur Dam
  • Hirakud Dam
  • Bhakra Dam.

Second plan(1956 to 61)

  • Also called Mahalanobis plan after its chief architect.
  • Its objective was rapid industrialisation
  • Advocated use imports which led to emptying of funds leading to foreign loans. It shifted basic emphasis from agriculture to industry far too soon. During this plan, price level increased by 30% against a decline of 13% during the first plan
  • The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was established as a research institute. In 1957 a talent search and scholarship program was begun to find talented young students to train for work in nuclear power.

Third plan(1961 to 66)

  • At its conception time, it was felt that Indian economy has entered it takeoff stage. Therefore, a was to make India a self reliant and self generating economy.
  • Also, it was realised from the experience of first two planes that agriculture could be given the top priority to suffice the requirements of export and industry.
  • Complete failure due to unforeseen misfortunes viz. Chinese aggression(1962), Indo Pak war (1962) , Indo Pak war (1965 ), Seve rest drought to 100 years (1965 to 66)

Three annual plans(1966 to 69)

  • Plan holiday for three years. The prevailing crisis in agriculture and serious food shortage necessitated the emphasis on agriculture during the annual plans.
  • During these plans a whole new agriculture strategy involving widespread of distribution of highly-yielding varieties of seeds, the extensive use of fertilisers, exploitation of irrigation potential and soil conservation was put into action to tide over the crisis in agriculture production.
  • During the annual plans, the economy basically absorbed the shocks given during the third plan, making way for a planned growth

 Fourth plan(1969 to 74)

  • Main emphasis on agriculture’s growth rate so that chain reaction can start
  • Fared well in the first two years with record production, last three years failure cause of poor monsoon.
  • Had to tackle the influx of Bangladeshi refugees before and after 1971 Indo Pak war

 Fifth plan (1974 to 79 )

  • The fifth plan repaired and launched by D.D Dhar proposed to achieve two main objectives viz removal of poverty(Garibi Hatao) and attainment of self reliance, through promotion of high rate, better distribution of income and a very significant growth in the domestic rate of saving.
  • the plan was terminated in 1978 (instead of 1979 ) when Janata government came to the power.

 Rolling plan(1978 to 80)

  • There were two sixth plans. One by Genta government.(For 78 to 73) which was in operation for two years only and the other by Congress government when it returned to power in 1980
  • the Janata government plan is also called Rolling plan

Sixth plan(1980 to 85)

  • Objectives: Increase in national income, modernisation of technology, ensuring continuous decrease in poverty and unemployment, population control through family planning etc.

Seventh plan(1985 to 90)

  • The seventh plan emphasized policies and programmes which aimed at rapid growth in food grains production, increased employment opportunities and productivity within the framework of basic tenants of planning.
  • It was a great success, the economy recorded 6% growth rate against the targeted 5%

The thrust areas of the seventh Five-year Plan were:

  • Social Justice
  • Removal of oppression of the weak
  • Using modern technology
  • Agricultural development
  • Anti-poverty programs
  • Full supply of food, clothing, and shelter
  • Increasing productivity of small- and large-scale farmers
  • Making India an Independent Economy

Eighth plan(1992 to 97)

  • The eighth plan was postponed by two years because of political upheavals at the Centre and it was launched after a worsening balance of payment position and inflation during 1990-91
  • the plan undertook various drastic policy measures to combat the bad economic situation and to undertake an annual average growth of 5.6%
  • some of the main economic performance during eighth plan period were rapid economic growth, high growth in exports and imports, improvement in trade and current account deficit.

Ninth plan(1997 to 2002)

  • It was developed in the context of four important dimensions: quality of life, generation of productive employment, a regional balance and self-reliance.

Tenth plan (2002 to 2007)

  • Its objectives included achieving the growth rate of 8%, reduction of poverty ratio to 20% by 2007 and 210% by 2012, universal access to primary education by 2007, increase in literacy rate to 72% within the plan period and to 80% by 2012

Eleventh plan(2007 to 2012)

  • Accelerate growth rate of GDP from 8% to 10% and then maintain at 10% in the 12th plan in order to double per capita income by 2016-17
  • Increase agricultural GDP growth rate of 4% per year to ensure a broader spread of benefits.
  • Reduce drop out rates of children from elementary school from 52.2% in 2003-04 to 20% by 2011-12
  • Increase the literacy rate for persons of faith seven years or more to 85%
  • reduce infant mortality rate(MR) 28 and maternal mortality ratio(MMR) to 1 part 1000 live births.
  • raise the sex ratio for age group 0-6 to 935 by 2011-12 and to 950 by 2016-17
  • Ensure electricity connection to all village and BPL households by 2009 and the round-the-clock power by the end of the plan
  • increase forest and free cover by the five percentage points

Twelfth plan (2012 to 2017)

  •  “faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth”.proposes a growth target of 8 percent.Raising agriculture output to 4 per cent.
  • Manufacturing sector growth to 10 %
  • Target of adding over 88,000 MW of power generation capacity.

Indian Economic Planning And Five Years Plans In India