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

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Requiem for Seventh Plan

The Seventh Plan, we are told by the retiring deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, is likely to be fulfilled to the extent of 88 per cent in terms of the proportion of the plan target of public sector outlay likely to be realised in 'real' terms or at 1984-85 prices. This, we are further told, will be a notable improvement over the Sixth Plan in whose case such achievement was apparently limited to 70 per cent. It is understandable, of course, that the executive head of the Planning Commission, speaking on the eve of laying down office, should allow his assessment of the achievements and prospects of the Seventh Plan to be suffered by a glow of personal satisfaction. Actually, the prognosis of 88 per cent achievement of the Plan's target of public sector outlay in constant prices implies a sharp slackening of the pace of implementation of the plan. This is because it has been the government's boast hitherto that in the first three years of the plan, from 1985-86 to 1987-88, as much as 60 or 62 per cent of the target of public sector outlay would be achieved in so-called 'real' terms. In other words, the government and the Planning Commission have themselves scaled down their expectation of the public sector plan outlay in 1984-85 prices in the plan's last two years to a mere quarter or so of the five-year total. The Seventh Plan, it is clear, is headed towards an ignominious end.

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