Social Scientist. v 7, no. 84 (July 1979) p. 24.

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Industries Under the Rolling Plan

THE DRAFT FIVE-YEAR PLAN for 1978-83 does not call itself the Sixth Five-Year Plan. The reason is perhaps to be found in the innovation of the idea of rolling plan where the terminal period shifts continually from year to year. The concept of shifting horizon has been discussed in economic literature. However, there the idea relates to shifting horizon for planning with long-term perspective. The relation between long-term objectives of growth and the short-term plans was considered by Paul Samuelson in his celebrated catenary turnpike theorem.3 Samuelson showed that given an initial configuration of production factors for an economy and the target for the same in the terminal period, over a long period, the optimal growth path for the economy will tend to move along a catenary path.

One can visualize the short-term plans as links in a chain connecting the resources in the initial period with the target of goods to be produced according to a perspective plan. The concept of rolling plan, formulated by Goldman,2 has been related to the catenary path by Dasgupta3 who shows how the short-term plans can be extended over additional periods by conforming to the conditions of catenary path. The rolling plans can thus be envisaged in the context of an optimal path determined by the consider-ations of a long-term perspective plan.

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