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Explain Five Year Plans of India

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Prior to the NDA rule, the Planning Commission was functional and it launched five-year plans. The authority is now substituted by NITI Aayog and three-year action plans have replaced the five-year plans. Altogether a seven-year strategy paper is to be formed. In this article, all the five-year plans to date are discussed in brief. 

Five - Year Plans

The First Five-Year Plan

Based upon the Harrod-Domar model this plan was functional from 1951-1956. It targeted agricultural development and was successful achieving a 3.6% growth rate. 

Second Five-Year Plan

This plan was spanned over 1956 to 1961 based upon the P. C. Mahalanobis Model. This targeted the country’s industrial development and successfully achieved a 4.1% growth rate. 

Third Five-Year Plan

Also known as “Gadgil Yojna”, this plan was for the duration of 1961 to 1966. This plan targeted for an independent economy and tried to make the country take off on its own. But the plan was unsuccessful as in 1962 war against China broke out. 

Plan Holiday

Following the third five-year plan’s failure, plan holiday was implemented from 1966 to 1969. In this phase, the Indo-Pakistan war broke out too. In this phase agriculture and allied sectors were emphasized upon and other annual policies were planned. 

Fourth Five-Year Plan

This was from 1969 to 1974. It targeted achieving self-reliance through progressive movement and achieving stable growth. During the implementation of this plan, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called the slogan “Garibi Hatao”. However it only achieved the growth rate of 3.3% of the prior set 5.7% target and thus, was a failure. 

Fifth Five-Year Plan

Spanned over 1974 to 1979, this plan emphasized upon the development of agriculture, industry and mines. Launched by D. P. Dhar the plan was terminated in 1978 with a growth achievement of 4.8% while the target was 4.4%. 

Rolling Plan

As the fifth five-year plan was terminated before 1979, a rolling plan was introduced within the financial year 1978-79. 

Sixth Five-Year Plan

Starting from 1980 this plan was up until 1985. The sixth term of the plan targeted self-reliance on the technological front and complete eradication of poverty. The plan, based upon infrastructural modifications and investment Yojna, was successful in achieving 5.7% growth. 

Seventh Five-Year Plan

From 1985-1990 this plan was executed. Targeted at increasing options for productive employment and making way for the self-sufficient economy, this plan was also a successful one. With more emphasis put on the private sector than the public sector, the plan got a growth of 6.0%. 

Annual Plan

After the seventh phase, the situation at the centre was tense. Thus, instead of the eighth five-year plan two annual programmes in 1990-91 and 1991-92 were formed. 

Eighth Five-Year Plan

This spanned over 1992-1997. Human resource development received the greatest priority here. The New Economy Policy of India was launched by Narsimha Rao government. It was again successful and achieved 6.8% growth. 

Ninth Five-Year Plan

The plan was launched in 1997, the 50th year of independence and spanned up to 2002. It mainly focussed on “growth with justice and equity”. But it was not a successful venture and achieved only 5.7% against 7% growth target. 

Tenth Five-Year Plan

2002 to 2007 was the years of the tenth five-year plan. It targeted to reduce poverty by 15% in the next five years and increase per capita income by a double by the next 10 years. But overall, the plan failed and achieved a mere growth rate of 7.2% against 8%. 

Eleventh Five-Year Plan

This plan had a duration of five years from 2007 to 2012. C. Rangarajan was vested with the responsibility for its preparation. With its main theme focussed on “faster and more inclusive growth”, the eleventh five-year plan only achieved 7.9% growth against a target of 8.1%. 

Twelfth Five-Year Plan

This was the last five-year plan as after this NDA government came into power, they did away with the Planning Commission. The twelfth plan had the duration of 2012 to 2017. This final plan had the main theme of “Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”. The target growth rate was set at 8%. 

NITI Aayog does not provide financial allocations or detailed schemes to the Government of India. The propositions as made by the Aayog in the form of three-year action plan do not need the approval of Union Cabinets either. Thus the government is not bound to follow this. Five Year Plans had strong financial roles to play in the Indian economy and played a pivotal role in its upliftment.

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