Industrial development under Five Year Plans

Industrial development is considered an important indicator of the socio-economic and human development of the country. Before the growth of modern industries, India was well-known for its cottage and household industries worldwide. The industrial development in India began in 1854 when some cotton and jute mills were set up by the British in Mumbai and Calcutta.

During the First World War, Indian Industries got a good boost as India became the main cotton & woolen textiles supplier. However, during the Second World War, production in most industries declined due to the non-availability of raw materials. Further, the partition of the country in 1947 gave a severe blow to the industries in India.

After the Independence, the Indian government realized the importance of an appropriate Industrial policy for industrial growth. This led to the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948, which introduced the concept of a mixed economy. As per the mixed economy concept, the State and the private enterprises were allowed to co-exist and co-prosper. This Industrial resolution divided the industries between the public and private sectors. However, the proper growth of the industrial sector in India took place during the period of the Five-Year Plans.

First Five-Year Plan (1951-56)

As the first Five-Year Plan mainly focuses on agriculture development, its emphasis was on the increasing capacity of then-existing industries rather than setting up new industries. Industrial development was mainly confined to the consumer goods sector. Cotton, woolen, jute textiles, paper, newsprint, leather goods, cement, power looms, chemical, and engineering goods were industries that showed some progress during this plan. The goal on the industrial front was to go for some renovation & modernization and make better utilization of the existing capacity.

Second Five-Year Plan (1956-61)

The Second Five-Year Plan was known for the growth of heavy Industries and transportation in the country. The second plan emphasized more on setting up heavy industries based on P. C. Mahalanobis’s model. The main thrust of industrial development was on the iron and steel industry, fertilizer industry, heavy engineering, and lignite projects.

In 1956, the second Industrial Resolution policy was announced. During the second five-year plan: Durgapur Steel Plant was set up in 1956 in West Bengal, Bhilai Steel Plant was established in 1959 in Chhatisgarh, Raurkela Steel Plant was set up in 1959 in Odisha. Moreover, existing steel plants like Jamshedpur, Bursnpur, and Bhadravati also expanded during this plan.

Third Five-Year Plan (1961-66)

The main emphasis during the third plan was on the expansion of basic industries like iron & steel, power, machine building. Bokaro Steel Plant was set up in 1964 in Jharkhand with the help of the Soviet collaboration. The third Five-Year Plan also emphasized on building up of capital goods industries. Locomotive & railway coach-making, ship-building industry, aircraft manufacturing, chemical, fertilizer industries also steady progress.

The period between 1966 and 1969 was the period of three annual plans. There was not much progress of industries during the annual plans.

Fourth Five-Year Plan (1969-74)

The fourth Five-Year Plan mainly emphasized the agro-based industries, such as cotton, jute, sugar, vanaspati, and metal-based industries. There was much progress in alloys, aluminum, machine tools, electronic goods, automobile tires, tractors, and special steel industries. During this plan, efforts were also made to accelerate the process of Industrial dispersal. In 1972, the government nationalized the coal sector.

Fifth Five-Year Plan (1974-79)

During the Fifth Five-Year Plan, the main emphasis was on the rapid growth of iron & steel plants, export-orient products, and goods of mass consumption. In 1773, the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) was constituted. The resolution to set up a steel plant at Paradip, Salem, Vijayanagar, and Vishakhapatnam was also made in the fifth plan to create additional capacity. Moreover, oil refining, chemical, fertilizers, and heavy engineering industries made steady progress.

Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85)

Sixth Five-Year Plan emphasized producing goods to exploit the domestic as well as international market. There was the development of village handicrafts in harmony with the growth of the heavy industry during the Sixth Five-Year Plan. The objective of the sixth plan was to attain Balance Regional Development through industrial development. Industries like aluminum, thermostatics, automobiles, electric equipment were given priority to achieve the objectives. Production targets achieved in the industries like commercial vehicles, T. V. receivers, cement, coal, jute industry, textiles, railway wagon, non-ferrous metals, sugar industry, etc.

Seventh Five-Year Plan (1985-90)

During the Seventh Five-Year Plan, great emphasis was on high tech and electronic industries. The seventh plan gave more preferences on Industrial dispersal, exploitation of local resources, self-employment, and proper training. The main features of the seventh plan were:

  • Integrated development of industries to achieve self-reliance and generate high employment.
  • Development of industries with large domestic markets for export potential.
  • An adequate supply of consumer products at reasonable prices for mass consumption.

Annual Plan Period (1990-92)

The period between the years 1990 and 1992 is the period of two annual plans. In 1991, there was a major change in the Industrial Policy of the Indian government. On 5 July 1991, the New Industrial Policy was launched, with which the industrial trade and foreign investment policies substantially liberalized.

Eighth Five-Year Plan (1992-97)

After the adaptation of the policy of liberalization in 1991 for the investment of foreign multinationals, the eighth plan emphasized the removal of regional imbalances. The Eighth Five-Year Plan also encouraged the growth of employment in small sectors.

Ninth Five-Year Plan (1997-2002)

The main emphasis in the Ninth Five-Year Plan was on the industries like cement, coal, consumer goods, crude oil, refinery, infrastructure, and quality steel products.

Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07)

The objectives of the Tenth Five-Year Plan were as follow:

  • Reducing trasaction costs and increased exports.
  • To enhance the exports and increase global competitiveness.
  • To achieve balanced regional development.
  • Modernization and technology upgrading.

To achieve these objectives and remove the regional inequalities, the government adopted the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) policy in 2005 during the Tenth Five-Year Plan. Further, the production of capital goods, intermediate goods, and consumer goods have been encouraged.

Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12)

The Eleventh Five-Year Plan focuses on faster and more inclusive growth. The eleventh plan stresses that the benefits of development should reach all sections of the population. Therefore, this plan gave priority to infrastructure, agriculture, education, health infrastructure, and employment. The plan emphasizes the rapid industrial development that generates employment, brings a faster poverty reduction, and ensures essential services to all the sections of the society.

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