ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Fourth Plan in Outline

Since work on the Fourth Plan started some four and a half years ago successive developments have compelled the Planning Commission to lower its sights. In terms of outlay, the Rs 23,750 crores (at June 1966 prices), proposed in the Draft Outline presented to Parliament last month, represents a substantial paring down of physical programmes as compared to the outlay of Rs 21,500 crores proposed in September 1965 which was at 1963 64 prices. 

Since work on the Fourth Plan started some four and a half years ago successive developments have compelled the Planning Commission to lower its sights. In terms of outlay, the Rs 23,750 crores (at June 1966 prices), proposed in the Draft Outline presented to Parliament last month, represents a substantial paring down of physical programmes as compared to the outlay of Rs 21,500 crores proposed in September 1965 which was at 1963 64 prices. Some idea of the extent of the scaling down can be had from the fact that the price level has risen by 25 per cent between 1963 64 and June 1966 and that devaluation has inflated the rupee cost of the import content of the Plan by 57.5 per cent.

Poised for Rapid Growth 
As a result of the rise in prices and devaluation the same financial outlay can sustain only a substantially smaller effort in real terms. Moreover, because of the failure of the Third Plan to achieve the overall and sectoral targets set for it, the same effort and achievement in real terms will take the economy to lower heights at the end of the Fourth Plan, than was envisaged when work on the Fourth Plan began in 1962 or in the 15year perspective of development contained in the Third Plan. As against the expected rate of growth of national income of 5 per cent per annum, that actually achieved in the Third Plan was less than 2.5 per cent substantially lower than that in the First or the Second Plan. National income in 196566 is estimated to be Rs 15,930 crores at 196061 prices as compared to the Third Plan target of Rs 19,000 crores. Per capita income at best remained stationary or slightly declined during the period. In agriculture, production did not show any rise at all except in 1964 65, and industrial production was below expectations in aggregate as well as in many vital industries (see table in the 'Statistics' section).

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