Economic Planning has been in operation for more than 50 years.
The achievements of Planning are visible in various sectors of the economy.
The Progress Made by Plans is given below:
1. Increase in National Income:
Increase in national income is a sign of economic development. During British rule, national income of India increased at the rate of 0.5 percent per annum. So Indian economy was a stagnant economy. During the period of Planning, the rate of increase in national income has been 3.7 percent per annum.
The target of increase in national income during the first plan was set at 2.1 percent per annum, but actually it increased at the rate of 3.7 percent per annum. Growth rate of all plans, ranging from second to eighth plan was proposed to be 5 percent or above per annum, but the objective could be achieved only during fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth plans.
In the ninth plan, growth rate declined to 5.5%. Tenth plan has fixed this target at 8%. Rise in national income is a significant achievement of planning. During the period of planning, national income has increased from Rs. 132367 to 1354599 crore (at 1993-94 prices).
2. Increase in per capita Income:
Before independence, rate of increase in per capita income had been almost zero but during the period of planning per capita income increased at the rate of 2.1 percent per annum. During the period of planning the per capita income has increased 3.9 times from Rs. 3687 to Rs. 12416 (at 1993-94 prices)
3. Increase in Rate of Capital Formation:
During five year plans rate of capital formation has significantly increased. Rate of capital formation depends on the rate of saving and investment. During five year plans there has been considerable increase in the rate of saving and investment.
During the first five year plans the rate of Gross Domestic Capital formation was 8.9%. It increased to 25.9% in 2004-05 (at 1999-2000 prices).
4. Institutional Reforms in Agriculture and Green Revolution:
Plans have contributed to the development of agriculture in two ways. Firstly land reforms have been introduced in agriculture. These reforms have created congenial conditions for the improvement of agricultural production. Secondly, since 1966 stress has been land on technological development of agriculture.
Green Revolution is the result of this advancement. During the period of Planning, production of food grains has trebled. In 1951-52, the production of food grains was 550 lakh tonnes. In 2004-05 the production of food grains increased to 2046 lakh tonnes.
We have created a huge buffer stock of food grains amounting to 7 crore tonnes to meet the vagaries of monsoon. The production of wheat has increased 12 times than the production in 1950-51. The impact of Green revolution was quite significant in Punjab, Haryana and western U.P. There is rise in production of cotton, jute, sugarcane and oil seeds.
5. Development of Industries:
Due to planning industrial sector developed a lot. Basic and capital goods industries like iron and steel, machinery, chemical fertilizers etc. have developed sufficiently. Public sector has developed a lot. Country become self sufficient in consumption goods. Industries have been diversified and modernized. Industrial production capacity has increased considerably. Growth rate of industrial production has been around 7%.
During 1st five year plan industrial production increased by 8 percent. In 2nd plan, industrial production went up by 7%. In fifth plan the average annual growth rate was 5.4%. In the seventh plan, average growth rate was 7.5 percent. During ninth plan, it declined to 5.8%. Production of sugar and cement touched 133.6 lakh tonnes and 1-25.3 lakh tonnes respectively. There has been overall rise in the industrial production.
6. Development of Economic Infrastructure:
Infrastructure includes transport and communication, irrigation facilities and generation capacity of power. During the period of planning, infrastructure of the economy has also developed considerably. In 2004-05 the total length of railway route was 63,190 km and more than 163 of thousand km railway lines have been electrified. Length of roads has increased from 1.57 lakh kms to 33 lakh kms. Goods carried by railway wagons has increased from 9.3 crores tonnes in 1950-51 to 56 crore tonnes in 2004-05.
7. Social Infrastructure:
Social infrastructure like education, health, medical facilities, family planning etc. have expanded. Due to these services:
(a) Death rate reduced from 26 per thousand in 1951 to 8.1 per thousand in 2005.
(b) Average life expectancy increased from 32 years in 1951 to 65 in 2005.
(c) Deadly diseases like malaria etc. have been eradicated.
(d) The number of school going students has increased three fold and college going has increased.
(e) Number of hospital-beds, doctors, nurses and medicines has greatly increased.
(f) A large number of National Laboratories and Research centres have been set up across the country.
Efforts have been made during plans to increase employment opportunities. By the end of Ninth Plans employment was provided to 34.4 crore persons out of the labour force of 37.8 crore persons. So about 4 crore person remain unemployed. It is estimated that by the end of tenth plan employment will be provided to 39 crore persons out of labour force of 41 crore. So by the end of Tenth plan only 2 crore people will be unemployed.
Structural and institutional changes taking place during the period of Planning testify to the fact that economy is heading for modernisation.
Some of the important structural changes are:
(a) Increasing contribution of industry in the composition of National Income.
(b) Increase in the number of industries using modern techniques.
(c) Increasing use of modern technology in agriculture sector. Institutional changes during the plan are also significant. Institutional changes include development of public sector, liberalisation and privatisation, development and expansion of small and medium scale industries etc.
Definite success has been achieved in the field of self-sufficiency during the period of planning.
It is clear from the following facts:
(a) The percentage of contribution of foreign assistance in the financing of the plan has been decreasing, e.g. foreign assistance in the financing of third plan was 12.8%. It came down to 6.9% in ninth plan.
(b) Growth rate of imports has been on the decline. It was 27% in the second plan and 1.8% in ninth plan.
(c) Exports have gained ground. Growth rate of exports was 2.2 percent in second plan and it increased to 21 percent in ninth plan so plans have succeeded in pushing the economy towards self sufficiency.
In brief, the main objectives of planning in India are raising the standard of living, achieving self-sufficiency in industrial and agricultural production and removing of inequalities of wealth and income, the plans have helped a lot to achieve these objectives.