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

Approaches To The ApproachSubscribe to Approaches To The Approach

Approach to the Fifth Plan First Impressions

"THE Approach to the Fifth Plan" is an important document both for what it explicitly states and what it does not. For the first time the Planning Commission has presented an estimate of the direct and indirect foreign exchange re- quirements attributable to selective changes in the consumption pattern of the upper strata of Indian society; and attention has been focused on it as a major consideration governing the choice between the alternative patterns of growth that might be considered in the preparation of the Plan. Viewed against the background of the earlier policy formulations relating to planning in India this represents a significant contribution.

Socialism or State Capitalism

H K Paranjape ONE of the curiosities of the Approach document is that it speaks about the "establishment of a fully democratic and socialist society" having been accepted as "the only means for the realisation of these goals" (emphasis added). The "socialist society" is thus not a goal but merely a means, the goals being "consolidation of the demo, cratic political order, prevention of concentration of economic power, reduction of disparities in income and wealth, attainment of balanced regional development, and spread of the institutions, values and attitudes of a free and just society". The Fifth Plan, it is stated," must take the country another major step forward along the chosen course". Overlooking the inconsistency between the establishment of a fully democratic society being a means as well as a goal, one should expect that the Approach would at the least specifically indicate how the country would move along the socialist path in whatever limited way during the Plan period. Such a hope however is belied.
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