An Overview Of The 11th Five-Year Plan

economy.jpgSince the constitution of our democratic country has been formed, the frame-workers have been drafting out five-year plans to chalk out the development and progress to be brought in the country as according to the conditions prevailing then. With the 60 years of independence completing its way, the National Development Council (NDC) is presenting the 11th Five Year Plan, 2007-2012. Recently on 9thNovember 2007, Planning Commission cleared the draft of the plan.

Expected to look after every sector of the nation and improve the conditions, let’s see how far they succeed. “What actually do they hold for us??” With the observed trend in production and consumption, the problem of subsidies in food, fertilizers and petroleum is expected to hit hard the economy and the prosaic life of people. A sum of Rs1, 00,000 crores is likely to be spent on the three commodities in the current financial year itself. But the thing is, will it be really effective in bringing out relief for all, despite the tremendous increase in population and demand patterns along with price-hike that will prevent it from providing any benefit.They also aim at raising the average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate from 7.6% to 9%. The planning commission has planned to reduce the poverty by 10% and generate 7crore new employment opportunities and also to illuminate the lives of village people. All these promises look nice on paper work and estimation. No doubt, the government has been working with great fervor to improve the conditions, but the billion-plus nation with 64.8% literacy provides recession to the idea. Will it serve the population that is just above poverty line or bring up those below poverty line?Due to lack of educational amenities ant technological know-how, agriculture has become the livelihood for 58.2% of the total working force and contributes 24% to GDP. So the 7crore employment opportunities are for those who are already employed or in reserve for those who don’t have the cult to deal with it? With all the statistics documented and ignoring the basic conditions of the population, will the 11th Five Year Plan serve the purpose of working for marginalized sections of society?They have set the target of industrial and services sector growth to 9-11% and investment rate to 36.7%. But at the elementary level, there is so much the need for advancement, that these figures seem to be meant just for the people who happen to read all this. Education sector is expected to be the BIG beneficiary of the plan by allocating 19.36% of Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) as compared to 7.68% in the previous plan along with the investment of Rs2, 75,000crores and improving the education at primary, secondary and higher level. All of the above sounds very fascinating, but who is going to mention about 27% of the OBC reservation that out-numbers the unreserved majority.India being a developing nation, the situations need to be delicately handled. Reduction in unequal distribution of income and wealth, providing additional employment, adopting measures to boost agriculture and increase in national income will definitely do a lot. All Five Year Plans are designed, drafted and publicly released. But if they happen to be so much promising, after the term why don’t they come out with a report of the accomplishments and shortcomings? Or is it so that they have the aims but scant means to accomplish them??

Karanvir Gupta