Short notes on Eighth Five Year Plan of regional development

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The Eighth Plan (1992-97) aimed at an aver­age annual growth rate of 5.6 per cent and an average industrial growth rate of 7.5 per cent.

The salient features of the plan included: (a) faster economic growth, (B) faster growth of manufacturing sector and agriculture and allied sector, (c) significant growth rates in exports and imports, (d) improve­ment in trade and current account deficit, and (e) significant reduction in the Central Government’s fiscal deficit.

Under the Plan various structural ad­justment policies were introduced so that the economy could be pushed to a higher growth path and to improve its strength and thus prevent the Balance of Payment and inflation crisis in future.

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To meet these challenges and social problems, the following ob­jectives were accorded to the Eighth Plan : (i) Gen­eration of adequate employment to achieve near full employment level by the turn of the century; (ii) Containment of population growth through active people’s co-operation and an effective scheme of incentives and disincentives; (iii) Universalisation of elementary education and complete eradication of illiteracy among the people in the age group of 15 to 35 years; (iv) Provision of safe drinking water and primary health care facilities, including immunisa­tion, accessible to all the villages and the entire population and complete elimination of scavenging; (v) Growth and diversification of agriculture to achieve self-sufficiency in food and generate sur­plus for exports; and (vi) Strengthening the infra­structure (energy, transport, communication, irriga­tion) in order to support the growth process on a sustainable basis.

However, there was shortfall in the attainment of the Plan objectives due to lack of mobilization of adequate resources owing to dete­rioration in the balance of current revenues, erosion in the contribution of state electricity boards and state road transport corporations, negative opening balance, mounting non-Plan expenditure and short­falls in the collection of small savings, etc.

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