Social Scientist. v 7, no. 82 (May 1979) p. 74.

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Five Tear Plan 19^8-8^


IN THE 32 years since Independence, the Indian economy has' seen five Five Year Plans and three Annual Plans. The most recent Five Year Plan was terminated in four years' time, and the Five Year Plan 197S-83 shortly to be revised in accordance with the concept of the Rolling Plan, is in progress.

To call the Indian economy a planned economy would, however, be misleading. To state the obvious, our economy is essentially a private enterprise economy, dominated by big business and landlords. But it is also an economy in which the state intervenes actively, and a major mode of such intervention is the Plan. Through the successive Five Year Plans, the state has created a \ sizable public sector, which consists primarily of modern large- \ scale industry. This sector provides the infrastructure for the private sector; the profitability of the latter is further guaranteed by the highly subsidised prices at which raw materials, intermediates^ power and so on are supplied by the public sector. Thus planning in the Indian context essentially meant economic growth through ^free enterprise", suitably assisted by the public sector.

The economy in the post-independence period has seen a period of rapid growth in industry and agriculture upto the mid^ sixties followed by a sharp decline in growth rates in both the sectors, and spreading industrial stagnation and sickness. Such growth as has been achieved is extremely uneven in character—regionally, productwise and in terms of the distribution of the benefits of growth between economic classes. Even as the economy has slowed down, the seriousness attached to the planning process has also declined. It is no exaggeration to state that since 1966, the planning process has steadily declined in terms of its political and economic significance. The formal decision of the Janata government to

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