ARABINDA BISWAS NRIPEN BANDrOPADHYAYA
Problems of Labour and Enterprise in West Bengal Agriculture - A Regional Study
BETWEEN the Second and Fifth Five Year Plans the strategy for planned economic development in India has undergone considerable change in terms of the pattern of sectoral allocation of public resources. It may be worth noting that while the Second Plan envisaged a rapid industrial development in the country with special emphasis on the basic and heavy industries/ the Planning Commission in laying down the development perspective for the Fifth Five Year Plan identified agriculture as ^the most vital sector' of our economy.2 Even if policy statements are not to be taken at their face value, this shift is discernible from the change in the inter-sectoral priorities indicated by the increasing share of agriculture in public sector outlay during the Third, Fourth and Fifth Five Year Plans. While the percentage share of agriculture and community development was 15.1 and 11.8 in the First and Second Plans respectively., it increased to 14 percent in the Third Plan and to 20.3 percent in the Fifth.8 There is no reason to assume that this shift came as a result of the realisation of our initial planning objectives or the completion of the basic tasks of industrialisation. In fact, it is the failure of our earlier efforts that made^bur policy makers change their initial approach to the question of India's economic development, leaving earlier objectives unfulfilled and meandering into an altogether different strategy.