Development initiatives during different five years plans
During pre-liberalization period from 1951 to 1991, India had formulated seven Five Year Plans. The thrust areas and development initiative undertaken during First Five Year Plan to Seventh Five Year Plan are discussed.
First Five Year Plan (1951-1956)
At the time of launching First Five Year Plan, the country was facing formidable challenge of food security. Obviously, the plan gave topmost priority to agriculture and community development. Some of the development initiatives undertaken during the First Five Year Plan period are as follows:-
i) land reforms measures
ii) setting up agriculture extension services
iii) revitalization of cooperative movement
iv) provision of irrigation and facilities
v) establishment of a number of specialized institutions for providing credit to agriculture, small scale industries and backward sections of the population.
Second Five Year Plan (1956-1961)
The Second Five Year Plan laid emphasis on the development of heavy and basic industries to lay the foundations for future industrialization of Indian economy. Some of the emphasis and development initiative of Second Five Year Plan are :
i) Emphasis was laid on development of iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizers, heavy engineering and machine building industries.
ii) Plan defined more clearly the key role that the public sector was to play in the economic development of the country.
iii) Acceleration of the rate of growth of the economy.
iv) Establishment of socialistic pattern of society.
v) Increase the capacity for producing cement, caustic soda ash, sugar etc.
vi) Expansion of steel in private sector.
It is appropriate to say that the Second Five Year Plan laid the foundation stone for a highly developed, self reliant industrial economy. The completion of Second Five Year Plan also led to the completion of a decade of India’s planned development. The decade laid the foundation stone of the basic objectives and long term economic goals of the Indian economy.
Third Five Year Plan (1961-1966)
The Third Five Year Plan was constructed basing on the experiences gathered during First and Second Five Year Plans. The greatest stress in the Plan was given on the i9mplemention and creating conditions for the maximum production and employment and the development of human resources. Some of the initiatives and thrust areas during the Third Five Year Plan are as follows:-
i) Shifting of emphasis from industry to agriculture as there was slow growth rate in agricultural production forcing the nation to import 25 Million Tonnes of food grains from outside?
ii) Emphasis was on establishment of number of basic industries such as sugar, paper, cement, textile etc.
iii) Development of cottage and small industries in the areas like handicraft, coir, handlooms and silk product etc.
Thus, Third Five Year Plan was grounded on the mixed emphasis both on agriculture and industry and particularly on small scale and cottage industries.
Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-1974)
The Fourth Five Year Plan was formulated under the Chairmanship of Indira Gandhi. The two main objectives of the Fourth Five Year Plan are (i) growth with stability and (ii) progressive achievement of self reliance.
The Plan recommended for regional and local planning to vary the large number of small and weaker producers and increase immediate and future employment potential. The Plan identified the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in local planning. Fourth Five Year Plan also laid emphasis on industries manufacturing inputs for agriculture such as fertilizers, pesticides, firm equipment etc. The development of small scale and cottage industries continued to be the main area of industrial development with a motto to achieve self reliance. It also suggested reorganization of the management of public enterprises to achieve the twin aims of a strong well knit public sector.
Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79)
The Fifth Five Year Plan laid emphasis on “Growth with Social Justice”. It also coined a new slogan called “Garibi Hatao” or “remove poverty”. But the change of the government in Centre in 1977 lead to change in the strategy called Growth for Social Justice”. A new pattern of planning was introduced called “Rolling Plan” which emphasised that every year the performance of the plan would be assessed and necessary correction be made in the subsequent year. In other words, it led to continuous planning. The plan in order to achieve the growth with social justice laid stress on rapid growth of the core sector by expanding production of essential consumer goods and by restricting the production of luxurious goods. As a result of production in the consumer goods industry recorded a high growth rate of 14.3 percent.
Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85)
The Sixth Five Year Plan places a very high priority on alleviation of poverty. In the Sixth Five Year Plan substantial allocation was made for reducing regional disparities. Moreover, substantial investment was made for the development of the North Eastern region. The programme such as National Rural Employment Programme and Minimum Needs Programme were launched and strengthened to have direct attack on poverty. One of the important objectives of the Sixth Five Year Plan was to raise at least 3000 poorest households above the poverty line in each block during the plan period.
Seventh Five Year Plan
The Seventh Five Year Plan had an ambitious objective of growth, modernization, self reliance and social justice along with the strategy of generation of productive employment. The plan document had accorded highest priority to food, work and productivity. For this, the natural emphasis placed on programmes for agriculture and community development. A key feature of the strategy was the extension of the Green Revolution to the eastern region and to dry land areas to reduce regional imbalances in agricultural development.
The Seventh Five Year Plan laid emphasis on the acceleration of the industrial growth rate in the country. For this, the Seventh Five Year Plan gave boost to the liberalization measures. A few of them are as under
i) Raising the assets limit for exemption to companies from the purview of MRTP Act.
ii) Exempting 83 industries under the MRTP Act for entry to dominant industries.
iii) Grant of exemption from licensing for industrial limits with an investment up to Rs.50 Crores in backward areas and Rs.15 Corers in other areas on the bank of a negative list.
iv) De-licensing non MRTP non-FERA companies for 31 industries groups and MRTP/FERA companies in backward areas for 72 industry groups.