Politics of Planned development

For India, development means socio-economic progress with reduction or elimination of poverty, inequality and unemployment. The objective of development revolves around making available life sustaining goods such as food, shelter and health. The leftist endorsed socialist principles of state ownership. The rightist believed in liberal economic policies. Planning is a systematic utilisation of the available resources at a progressive rate so as to secure an increase in output, national dividends, employment and social welfare of the people. The big industrialist got together and prepared Bombay Plan in 1944. Planning Commission is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body set up in 1950 by a government resolution. It became the most influential and central machinery for deciding what path and strategy India would adopt for its development. In July 1951, Planning Commission issued the draft outline of the First Five year Plan for a period from April 1951 to March 1956. The primary aim of First Five Year Plan was to improve the living standards of Indians. The Second Five Year Plan was introduced to promote industrialisation and strengthen the industrial base of the economy. The plan was drafted under the leadership of P.C. Mahalanobis. The plan laid emphasis on the expansion of public sector and aimed at the establishment of a socialist pattern of society. The Third Five year plan laid emphasis on long term development. Agriculture, trade and industry were left in private hands. The state took charge of key heavy industries, industrial infrastructure, regulated trade and made some crucial interventions in agriculture. The agricultural situation went from bad to worse. The prices of wheat and rice soared considerably. The food crisis had many consequences. The government had to import wheat and had to accept foreign aid, mainly from the US. The entire planning process suffered a setback. The land reforms were aimed at redistributing ownership holding and reorganising operational holdings from the viewpoint of optimum utilisation of land. Land ceiling means the maximum amount of land which a person can possess. The Green Revolution was introduced in 1960. The plan was spearheaded actively by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan who advocated the policy of sustainable development. This enabled India to achieve self-sufficiency in food grains. The primary aim of white revolution was to increase milk production, eliminate middlemen, providing producers a regular income and alleviating poverty in the rural households. After Nehru’s death, Indira Gandhi emerged as a popular leader. The period from 1967 onwards witnessed restrictions on private industry. Government announced many pro-poor programmes. Between 1950s-80s, the Indian economy grew sluggishly at per annum rate of 3 to 3.5%. People lost faith in planning due to corrupt bureaucrats and inefficiency of public sector.

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