The Seventh Five Year Plan was launched in 1985 during the Congress government with Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister. The period for the Seventh Plan started from 1 April 1985 and ended on 31 March 1990. Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 1985 to 1987. The Seventh Plan was the first Plan with the motto: Food, Work, and Productivity. Therefore, this Plan emphasized rapid growth in foodgrains production, increase in employment, and economic productivity. The Plan also saw the beginning of the liberalization of the Indian economy.
The main objectives of the 7th Five Year Plan were:
- To establish growth in the production of foodgrains.
- To generate employment opportunities.
- To improve capacity utilization and increase economic productivity.
- Significant poverty reduction.
- To improve the education and health facilities.
- To integrate science & technology into the mainstream of development planning.
- To fulfill the objectives of modernization, self-reliance, and social justice.
- To improve the quality of living for the poor in the villages and towns.
The Seventh Five Year Plan strove to bring about a self-sustained economy in the country.
- The target growth rate in the Sixth Plan was 5.0%, and the actual growth rate was 6.01%.
- At the end of the Seventh Plan, the Foodgrain production was 171.5 million tonnes, whereas the expected target was 178 million tonnes. However, Foodgrain grain production increased from 145.6 million tonnes in 1985 to 171.5 million tonnes in 1990.
- The growth rate of per capita income was 3.7%.
- There was an introduction and application of modern technology.
- The thrust areas of the Seventh Five Year Plan were: social justice, agricultural development, increasing the productivity of small & large scale farmers, anti-poverty programs, removal of oppression of the weak, using modern technology, supply of food, clothing & shelter, and making India a self-reliant economy.
However, the Balance of Payment (BoP), Inflation, Foreign exchange reserves, Current Account Deficit (CAD): all of these Macroeconomic indicators were the worst ones in 1990 at the end of the Seventh Five Year Plan. The unsustainable fiscal deficit, along with excessive external borrowing, badly affects the economy of the country. This fast-changing economic situation and political instability at the Centre made the country to postponed the Eight Five Year Plan for two years and adopt the Annual Plans for years 1990-91 and 1991-92