Five Year Plans in India Goals and Achievements


    • In 1938, the National Planning Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru. The Committee worked on the studies of subjects relating to economic development. Besides the National Planning Committee, eight leading industrialists of India conceived a Plan of Economic Development known as the Bombay Plan. A Gandhian plan prepared by Shriman Narayan. All these plans were never implemented.
    • The Planning Commission was constituted on March 15, 1950. The Planning Commission was given the responsibility of making assessment of all resources of the country, increasing deficient resources, formulating plans for the most effective and balanced utilisation of resources and determining priorities. 
    • The Planning Commission was asked to prepare a six-year development plan covering the period of July 1951 to June 1957 for the Colombo Plan (for Cooperative Economic Development in South and South-East Asia, as was desired by its member-countries in May 1950. However, later, the Government of India chose to go independent and asked it to submit a blueprint of a Five Year Plan at its earliest. The Plan was started in April 1951. The final Plan (Report) came out in December 1952.

    First Five Year Plan (1951-56)

    • This plan was based on the Harrod- Domar model.
    • This plan emphasized improvement on agriculture productions, irrigation, price stability, power and transport.
    • Entry of refugees, severe food shortage & mounting inflation confronted the country at the onset of the first five year Plan. 
    • Major dam projects of Bhakra - Nangal, Hirakud and Mettur dam were started during this plan period.
    • In 1956, by the end of this plan period, five Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) were also started.
    • Community development projects were started.
    • Objectives of rehabilitation of refugees, food self-sufficiency & control of prices were more or less achieved.
    • This plan proved a success as agriculture production increased dramatically.
    • Targeted growth - 2.1% ; actual growth - 3.6%
    • It was a successful plan because of good harvests in the last two years of the plan. 

    Second Five Year Plan (1956-61)

    • This model was prepared by prof. P. C Mahalanobis 
    • This plan followed the Mahalanobis Model, an economic development model.
    • This Plan is also called Mahalanobis Plan.
    • This Plan is known as Industrial Plan.
    • This plan paid major emphasis on domestic production of industrial products and rapid industrialization.
    • Steel plants were established at Bhilai, Durgapur and  Rourkela during that plan.
    • It was devised in an atmosphere of economic stability. It was felt agriculture could be given lower priority.
    • The target growth rate of this plan was 4.5%, and the actual growth rate was 4.27%
    • The Industrial policy 1956 for economic reform was based on the establishment of a socialistic pattern of society as a goal of economic policy.
    • It was only moderately successful.

    Third Five Year Plan ( 1961-66)

    • Its aim was to make India a ‘Self Reliant’ and ‘Self Generating’ economy.
    • Based on the experience of the first two plans (agriculture production was clearly seen as a limiting factor in India's economic development), and hence agriculture was given top priority to support exports and industries.
    • Third plan aimed to increase National Income by 30% and agriculture production by 30%.
    • India could not achieve its target due to unavoidable reasons, that is, wars with China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 and bad monsoon (severe drought) in 1965-66. That is why the approach was shifted from Development to Defense and Development.
    • The target growth rate was 5.6%, but the actual growth rate was 2.4%
    • This plan was a thorough failure.

    Three Annual Plans or Plan Holiday (1966-1969)

    • Failure of the third plan that of the devaluation of rupee along with inflationary recession led to the postponement of the fourth FYP.
    • Due to the miserable failure of third plan, the government had no choice but to declare “Plan Holidays” (from 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69). Three annual plans were drawn during this period.
    • Due to crisis in agriculture and serious food shortage necessitated the stress/attention on agriculture during the annual plans.
    • During these three annual plans, a whole new agricultural strategy was implemented.
    • During the Annual plans, the economy absorbed the shocks generated during the Third Plan.

    Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-74)

    • Objectives were: ‘Growth with Stability’ and ‘Progressive Achievement of Self Reliance.’
    • The plan emphasized on Agriculture Growth and Green Revolution in India advanced agriculture production.
    • 14 major Indian banks were Nationalised 
    • First two years of the plan had a record production. The last three years did not catch up due to poor monsoon.
    • Family Planning Programme was amongst major targets of the plan.
    • The target growth rate was 5.7%, but the actual growth rate was 3.3%
    • India conducted a nuclear test in 1974. 
    • It was considered a big failure.

    Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78)

    • The final draft of fifth five-year plan was prepared and launched by D.P Dhar.
    • Objectives: Removal of Poverty (Garibi Hatao) and Attainment of Self Reliance.
    • This Five year Plan laid stress on employment, checking inflation, poverty alleviation (Garibi Hatao), and justice.
    • This plan also focused on self-reliance in agriculture production and defence.
    • Indian national highway system was introduced.
    • ‘Minimum Needs Programme’ was launched.
    • After promulgation of emergency in 1975, the emphasis shifted to the implementation of Prime Ministers 20 Point Programme
    • When Janta Party Government came into power, it terminated the plan in the fourth year itself, i.e., 1978.
    • The target growth rate was 4.4%, and the actual growth rate was 4.8%.

    Rolling Plan (1978-80)

    • There were 2 Sixth Plans.
    • The Janata Party government rejected (criticized for concentration of power, widening inequality & for mounting poverty) the fifth five-year plan and introduced a new Sixth Five year plan (1978-1983) emphasizing on employment.
    • This plan was once again rejected by the Indian National Congress government when it came into power in 1980, and a new sixth plan was made aimed at directly attacking the problem of poverty through economic measures.
    • The earlier one was later referred to as a rolling plan. Rolling plan concept was formulated by Gunnar Myrdal.

    Five Year Plans
    five year plans

    Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85)

    • This Five - year plan marked the beginning of economic liberalization.
    • This plan focused on an increase in national income, modernization of technology, ensuring a continuous decrease in poverty and unemployment through schemes for transferring skills, and providing employment during no work season.
    • The sixth five-year plan was a great success to the Indian economy. The target growth rate was 5.2%, and the actual growth rate was 5.4%
    • It was a successful plan.

    Seventh Five Year plan (1985-90)

    • This five-year plan aimed to increase economic productivity, production of food grains, and generate employment; focussing on ‘Food, Work and Productivity’.
    • Jawahar Rozgar Yojana was launched in 1989. 
    • The target growth rate was 5.0%, and the actual growth rate was 6.01%
    • The plan was very successful.

    Period (1990-92)

    • No five-year plan was implemented during 1990-92 due to political instability.
    • Only annual plans were made for this period between 1990 and 1992.
    • In 1991, India faced a crisis in foreign exchange (Forex) reserves, left with reserves of only about US$ 1 billion. At that time Dr Manmohan Singh launched India’s free-market reforms that brought the nearly bankrupt nation back on the right track. 
    • The New Economic Policies were launched.
    • It was the beginning of privatization and liberalization in India.

    Eighth Five Year Plan (1992- 97)

    • Due to political uncertainty, the eighth plan was postponed by the central government.
    • During the launch of the plan, the key issues were: deteriorating Balance of Payment position, rising debt burden, widening budget deficits, recession in industry, and inflation.
    • The plan undertook drastic policy measures to tackle the bad economic situation and to undertake an annual average growth of 5.6% by introducing of fiscal & economic reforms, including liberalization under the Prime Ministership of Shri P V Narasimha Rao.
    • Outcomes - economic growth 6.8%, high growth of agriculture and allied sector, improvement in trade and current account deficit,growth in exports and imports.
    • High growth rate was achieved despite of the fact that the share of public sector in total investment had declined to about 34%.
    • The target growth rate was 5.6%, and the actual growth rate was 6.8 % 

    Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002)

    • The plan prepared under United Front Government focussed on “Growth with Social Justice and Equality.”
    • It aimed to depend predominantly on the private sector.
    • State was envisaged to play the role of facilitator increasingly and increasingly involve itself with social sector for example education, health etc. and infrastructure where private sector participation was likely to be limited.
    • It assigned priority to agriculture and rural development to generate adequate productive employment and eradicate poverty.
    • Stimulating the growth rate of the economy with stable prices.
    • Ensuring food and nutritional security for all.
    • The target growth rate was 6.5 %, and the actual growth rate was 5.4%

    Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07)

    • Recognising the Economic Growth cannot be the only Objective of national plan, the tenth plan had set ‘ monitorable targets’ for few key indicators (11) of development besides 8% growth target.
    • The target included reduction in gender gaps in literacy and wage rate, reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, improvement in rivers, etc. 
    • Governance was considered a factor of development and agriculture was declared as prime moving force of development.
    • States role planning was to be increased with greater involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions.
    • State-wise break up targets for growth and social development sought to achieve balanced development of all states.
    • Creation of 50 million employment opportunities in the next 5 years 
    • Reduction in gender gaps in literacy and wage rates by at least 50% by 2007
    • Reduction of poverty rate by 5 % by 2007. 
    • 20 point program was introduced.
    • The target growth rate was 8%, and the actual growth rate was 7.6%

    Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12)

    • This Plan was prepared by C. Rangarajan.
    • The main theme of this plan was “Faster and more Inclusive Growth”
    • The growth rate target was 8.1%, but it achieved only 7.9%.
    • This plan aimed to increase the enrolment in higher education of 15-23 years of age group by 2011–12, provide clean drinking water for all, reduce total fertility rate to 2 and increase in agriculture growth to 4.1.

    Twelfth Five Year Plan (2007-12)

    • Its duration is from 2012 to 2017.
    • The main theme of the plan was “Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth."
    • Its growth rate target is 8%.
    • The objectives of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan were:
      • To create 50 million new work opportunities in the non-farm sector.
      • To remove gender and social gap in school enrolment.
      • To enhance access to higher education.
      • To reduce malnutrition among children aged 0–3 years.
      • To provide electricity to all villages.
      • To ensure that 50% of the rural population has access to proper drinking water.
      • To increase green cover by 1 million hectares every year.
      • To provide access to banking services to 90% of households.

    The Planning Commission has been replaced by Niti Aayog. The Planning Commission has been launching a three-year action plan from April 1, 2017.


    image courtesy: Picabay 

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