What are the essential Objectives of Planning in India?
The basic objectives of planning in India, according to the Planning Commission, can be grouped under the heads of growth, modernization, self-reliance and growth by raising national income, full employment and social justice. Now, let us detail out the main objectives of Indian Plan.
1. High Rate of Growth:
Increase in national income as well as per capita income, is the first and foremost aim of Indian planning. On looking plan-wise objectives of various plans, it is evident that the First five year plan had envisaged a target of 11 per cent increase in national income while it rose by 18 per cent.
The Second Plan fixed the target of 25 per cent increase in national income over the plan period. Again, Third Five Year plan aimed to secure an increase in national income of 5 per cent per annum.
During the Third Plan, the national income increased only by 11.2 per cent. The Fourth Plan had visualised to attain the growth rate at 5.7 per cent per annum but it remained at 3.4 per cent per annum. The new Sixth Five Year Plan achieved the growth rate of 5.2 per cent.
Similarly, Seventh Plan has achieved an annual growth rate of 5 per cent. Eighth plan had fixed the target of 5.6 per cent. Similarly, Ninth Plan aims at achieving a growth rate of 7 per cent per annum.
2. Raising Investment Income Ratio:
Achieving a planned rate of investment within a given period to bring the actual investment as proportion of national income to a higher level has been regarded significant due to two reasons.
Firstly, such an increase in output capacity is deemed to be needed to increase the output. Secondly it is needed to bring the capital stock of the economy to ensure the growth of future output capacity.
3. Social Justice:
Another major objective of Indian Five Year Plans is to provide social justice to the common folks and weaker sections of the society. However, this social justice implies reducing the income inequalities and removal of poverty. These two aspects have been well dealt in various drafts of five year plans in our country.
4. Removal of Poverty:
Up to the end of the Fourth Five Year Plan, it was felt that the benefits of development have received a raw deal to tackle the problem of poverty. In the Fifth Plan, there was a visible shift in the approach which resulted in the Minimum Needs Programme.
Earlier to it, there was 20 Point Economic Programme to uplift village community, The Sixth Plan (1980-85) document mentioned that the incidence of poverty in the country is still very high and necessary measures need to be adopted to combat poverty. Similarly, seventh, Eighth and Ninth Plan Stressed for the removal of poverty in the country.
5. Full Employment:
Unemployment problem is a chronic problem in undeveloped countries. Though, India has emerged as a new developing country, yet it is in the grip of acute problem of disguised unemployment. Thus, the crucial objective of Indian
Planning is the creation of conditions for attaining full employment and the elimination of unemployment, underemployment and disguised unemployment.
6. Alleviating Three Main Bottlenecks:
Another objective of planning is the adoption of various measures to alleviate the three 'bottlenecks' viz., agricultural production, the manufacturing capacity for producer goods and the balance of payments.
The various plans have in one way or other been concerned with the removal of these three principal barriers for achieving stability-both internal and external-in the economy.
Another objective of Indian Plans is self-reliance. The earlier two plans could not give emphasis to it because they were formulated for rehabilitating and establishing basic key industries in the country.
Thus in the Third Five Year Plan, for the first time, the idea of self-reliance was clearly mentioned, " dependence on foreign aid, will be greatly reduced in the course of the Fourth Plan.
It was planned to do away with confessional imports of food grains under PL-480. Foreign aid, net of debt charges and interest-payments will be reduced to about half by the end of the Fourth Plan compared to the current level".
For the First time, the idea of modernization was floated in the Sixth Five Year Plan. In a common sense, it implies up-to dating the technology.
But Sixth Plan draft denotes the term modernization, a change in the structural and institutional set up of an economic activity, shift in the sectoral composition of production, diversification of farm activities, an advancement of technology and innovations are the part and parcel to a change from feudal system into a modern independent entity. In agricultural sector, considerable achievement has been made.
The total area under high yielding varieties has been raised from 5.6 million hectares to 27.4 million hectares during the period of 1970-71 to 1990-91. It further increased to 32.6 million hectares in 2000-01.
Total area under food grains was 115.6 million hectares in 1960-61 which increased to 121.9 million hectares in 2001-02.
The consumption of chemical fertilizer also rose from 2.18 million tonnes to 17.3 million tonnes from 1970-71 to 2000-01. Similarly, irrigated area rose from 38 million hectares in 1970-71 to 84.7 million hectares in 2000-01.
The distribution of quality seeds seems to be highly erratic in the various plan periods. By the end of 2000-01, about 80 per cent of villages were electrified and the consumption of electricity in the agricultural sector rose by about 12.3 per cent per annum.