This article throws light upon the ten five year plans for eradication of poverty from India.
1. The First Five Year Plan (1951-56):
The plan aimed at achieving an all round balanced development. It accorded top priority to agriculture and irrigation.
It invests 44.6 percent of the total plan budget on this sector. The plan also gave emphasis to rural development (community projects) and development of social welfare programmes.
It was based on Harrod – Domar model community development programme.
2. The Second Five Year Plan (1956-61):
It is also called Mahalanobis plan after its chief architect. It aimed at achieving rapid industrialization of the economy and bringing about greater equality in income and wealth for the establishment of a socialistic pattern of society In India. It focused on the growth of basic and heavy industries, expansion in employment opportunities and increase of 25 percent in the national income.
3. The Third Five Year Plan (1961-66):
During this plan, agriculture was once again given top priority and about 35 percent of the outlay was allocated to this sector. The third plan was a complete failure due to unforeseen misfortunes like Chinese aggression (1962), Indo-Pak war (1965) and severest drought.
After the third plan, the fourth plan had to be abandoned and was replaced by three annual plans, from 1966 to 1969. The main objective of the Three Annual Plans was to continue the unfinished (asks of the Third Five Year Plan.
4. The Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-74):
It aimed at increasing national Income by 5.5 percent, creating economic stability, reducing inequalities in income distribution and achieving social justice with equality. Simultaneous growth of both agricultural and industrial sectors was fully recognised under the fourth plan period.
5. The Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79):
This plan was prepared and launched by D.D. Dhar:
It mainly aimed at removal of poverty (Garibl Hatao) and attainment of self reliance. The aim was to bring larger sections of the poor masses above the poverty line by assuring minimum income of Rs. 40 per person per month calculated at 1972-73 prices. The plan was terminated in 1978 instead of (1979) when Janta Government came to power.
6. The Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85):
Removal of poverty was the main objective of the plan. Stress was laid on economic growth, elimination of unemployment, self-sufficiency in technology, raising the life styles of the weaker sections of the society.
7. The Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90):
It had three main priorities of increasing food, work and productivity. The plan aimed at a significant reduction in the incidence of poverty and an improvement in the quality of life of the poor.
8. The Eighth Five Year Plan (1992-97):
The plan was supposed to be oriented towards employment generation. More investment was supposed to be made in small industries which were expected to be job intensive. But the plan failed to achieve most of its targets.
9. The Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002):
The plan’s thrust areas were agriculture, employment, poverty and infrastructure. In agriculture, the top priority is to be given in irrigation. This plan aims to encourage small scale labour intensive industrial development with appropriate incentives.
The specific objectives of the ninth plan included:
(i) Priority to agriculture and rural development.
(ii) Accelerating the growth rate of the economy with stable prices.
(iii) Ensuring food and nutritional security for all, particularly vulnerable section of society.
(iv) Providing the basic minimum services of safe drinking water, primary health care facilities, universal primary education, shelter etc.
(v) Empowerment of women and socially disadvantaged groups such as SCs/STs/OBCs.
10. The Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07):
This plan aims at harnessing the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life of the people by setting the following key targets:
1. Reduction in poverty ratio from 26 percent to 21 percent by 2007.
2. Decadal population growth to reduce from 21.3 percent in 1991-2001 to 16.2 percent in 2001-11.
3. Growth in gainful employment to at least, keep pace with addition to the labour force.
4. All children to be in school by 2003.
5. All children to complete five years of schooling by 2007.
The tenth plan has a number of new features that include among others the followings:
1. It recognises the rapid growth in the labour force:
2. It aims at creating 50 million job opportunities during the period, by placing emphasis on employment.
3. The plan addresses the issue of poverty and the unacceptably low levels of social indicators.
The table in the next page shows the overall poverty in India over various years given by the Tenth Five Year Plan.
Table showing the overall poverty in India over various years given by Tenth Five Year Plan.
After 60 years of Indian independence, large scale poverty remains the most shameful blot on the face of India. India still has the world’s largest number of poor people in a single country of nearly 1 billion inhabitants. An estimated 350-400 million are below the poverty line, 75 percent of them in the rural areas.
The main causes of poverty are illiteracy, a population growth I ale by far exceeding the economic growth rate for the better part III the past 50 years. It would be incorrect to say that all poverty reduction programmes have failed. Eradication of poverty can only be a very long term goal III India.
Growth during Five Year Plans (Percent per annum):
The growth targets for the first three plans were set with respect to National Income. In the fourth plan it was Net Domestic product. In all plans, thereafter, it has been Gross Domestic product at factor cost.