Planning in India

  • Planning in India derives its objectives and social premises from the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution.
  • The Planning Commission was set up by a Resolution of the Government of India in March 1950 in pursuance of declared objectives of the Government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Chairman of the Planning Commission.
  • At present, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is the Chairman of the Planning Commission.


  • First Five-year Plan was launched in 1951 and two subsequent five-year plans were formulated till 1965, when there was a break because of Indo-Pakistan Conflict.
  • Two successive years of drought, devaluation of the currency, a general rise in prices and erosion of resources disrupted the planning process and after three Annual Plans between 1966 and 1969, the fourth Five-Year plan was started in 1969.
  • The Eighth Plan could not take off in 1990 due to the fast changing political situation at the Centre and the years 1991-92 were treated as Annual Plans.
  • The Eighth Plan was finally launched in 1992 after the initiation to structural adjustment policies.
  • For the first eight plans, the emphasis was on a growing public sector with massive investments in basic and heavy industries, but since the launch of the Ninth Plan in 1997, the emphasis on the public sector has become less pronounced.
  • FIRST PLAN: (1951-56) accorded the highest priority to agriculture including irrigation and power projects.
  • SECOND PLAN: (1956-57 to 1960-61) sought to promote a pattern of development, which would ultimately lead to the establishment of a socialistic pattern of society in India. Its emphasis on the development of basic and heavy industries.
  • THIRD PLAN: (1961-62 to 1965-66) Its immediate objectives were to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains and increase agricultural production.
  • ANNUAL PLANS: Between 1966 and 1969, three Annual Plans were formulated within the framework of draft outline of the Fourth Plan.
  • FOURTH PLAN: (1969-74) The Plan laid particular emphasis on improving the conditions of the less privileged and weaker sections especially through provision of employment and education.
  • FIFTH PLAN: (1974-79) major objectives were to achieve self-reliance & adopt measures for raising consumption standard of people living below the poverty line.
  • SIXTH PLAN: Removal of poverty was foremost objective of Sixth Plan (1980-85).
  • SEVENTH PLAN: (1985-90) emphasized on policies and programmes, which aimed at rapid growth in food grains production, increased employment opportunities and productivity. To reduce unemployment the incidence of poverty, special programmes like Jawahar Rozgar Yojana were launched.
  • ANNUAL PLANS: (1990-91 and 1991-92) the basic thrust of these Annual Plans was on maximization of employment and social transformation.
  • EIGHTH PLAN: (1992-97) It was launched immediately after the initiation of structural adjustment policies and macro stabilization policies. Salient features were faster economic growth, faster growth of the manufacturing sector and agriculture and allied sectors.
  • NINTH PLAN: (1997-2002) The Plan aimed at achieving a targeted GDP growth rate of 7% per annum and there was emphasis on the 7 identified Basic Minimum Services (BMS) such as provision of safe drinking water, availability of primary health service facilities, universalization of primary education, public housing assistance to shelterless poor families, nutritional support to children, connectivity of all villages and habitations and streamlining of the public distribution system.
  • TENTH FIVE YEAR PLAN: (2002-07) Plan has objective of doubling the per capita income in ten years and achieving a growth rate of 8% of GDP per annum. Plan aims at harnessing the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life of people.
  • 11TH FIVE YEAR PLAN: (2007-12) It provides a comprehensive strategy for inclusive development, building on the growing strength of the economy, while also addressing weaknesses that have surfaced. It sets a target for 9% growth in the five year period.

[ Click on 1,2,3,… on (below) to Read Full Chapter ]