During the fourth Five-Year Plan, Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India. The period for the fourth Plan started on 1 April 1969 and ended on 31 March 1974. The fourth plan aimed at growth with stability and greater self-reliance, especially in the defense sector. It laid special emphasis on improving the conditions of underprivileged & weaker sections through the provisions of education and employment.
- The main objective of the Fourth Plan was growth with stability.
- To achieve total self-reliance in all the sectors of the national economy, such as agriculture, defense, industrial, and service sector.
- To attain the Balanced Regional Development, meaning equal development of all the regions of the country.
- To generate more employment opportunities to tackle unemployment.
- To facilitated growth in exports.
- To put more focus on poverty alleviation.
- To alter the socio-economic structure of the society due to droughts and wars.
- To provide additional facilities in the rural areas for human resource development.
Key Notable Points
- After the first Plan Holidays (1966-69), the country’s economy was back on track with the Green revolution in the second annual Plan (1967-68). The Green revolution had advanced agriculture in India. At the end of the fourth plan, the foodgrain production, for the first time, surpassed 100 million tonnes, and Green Revolution got stabilized.
- The fourth Five-Year Plan was also known for the Nationalization of the banking sector. During the Fourth Plan, the Indira Gandhi government nationalized the 14 Indian Major Banks on 19 July 1969. The purpose of nationalizing banks was to cut out economic monarchy by the private sector, provide loans for agriculture, rural development, and other priority sectors.
- During this time, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was formed on 15 August 1969. In 1972, the government also set up a space commission and Department of Space (DOS), thus, bringing the ISRO under DOS.
- In July 1969, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) was set up to accelerate the pace of rural electrification, overcome the crippling impact of deficient monsoons and boost agriculture. In 1972, Haryana became the first state in India to be 100 percent electrified.
- After witnessing the success of the Green revolution, the Indian Government initiated the White Revolution. In 1970, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) started a new program Operation Flood, known as White Revolution, to increase milk production and create a nationwide milk grid. At that time, Dr. Verghese Kurien was the chairman of NDDB, therefore, known as the father of the White Revolution in India.
- The objective of the White Revolution or Operation Flood was to increase milk production, provide milk to consumers at a fair price, and create a nationwide milk grid. The features of the White Revolution were adopting new methods for animal husbandry and altering the composition of feed ingredients in different proportions. Operation Flood aimed at connecting milk producers with the consumers of cities & towns throughout the country, thus forming a National Milk Grid.
- In 1971, Indo-Pakistan War and Bangladesh Liberation War took place. Therefore, India fought another war with Pakistan and helped in the creation of Bangladesh. After the war, the country had to take the influx of Bangladesh refugees.
- On 2 July 1972, Shimla Agreement was signed between Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as the President of Pakistan. Under the Shimla agreement, both countries undertook to end the conflict and confrontation that had marred their relations. India released about 90000 Pakistani prisoners of war, captured after the Indo-Pakistan war. Both the countries agreed to settle their difference by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.
- In 1772, the Coal Sector was nationalized during the Fourth Five-Year Plan.
- In 1973, the General Insurance business in India was also nationalized by the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act 1972 (GIBNA).
- During the Fourth Five-Year Plan, India adopted an Anti-poverty strategy for the removal of poverty. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave the slogan ‘Garibi Hatao‘ in 1971.
- In 1973-74, the Government of India launched the Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) to tackle the problems of those fragile areas that are constantly affected by the severe drought conditions. Its objective is to minimize the adverse effect of droughts on crops production & livestock and productivity of land, water, and human resources.
- In 1973, the Marginal Famers and Agricultural Labour Project (MFAL) was launched by the Government for providing technical & financial assistance to small & marginal farmers and agricultural labour.
- In April 1973, the Government of India launched the Project Tiger to promote tiger conservation, protect the Bengal Tigers from extinction, and preserve their natural habitat.
- The oil crisis of 1973 increased the prices of oil and fertilizers, further led to very high inflation in the country.
The Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, Bangladesh liberation, successive monsoon failure, and the Asian oil crisis of 1973 marred the objectives of the Fourth Five-Year Plan.
- The target growth rate in the fourth plan was 5.7%, but the actual growth rate was 3.3%.
- At the end of the fourth plan, Foodgrains production increased from 72 million tonnes in 1966 to 104.7 million tonnes in 1974.
- The industrial production growth rate decreased from 6.85% in 1969-70 to 3.7% in 1970-71. However, it increased to 4.5% in 1971-72 and about 5% in 1972-74.