The Government of India set up a Department of Planning and Development in 1944 and it introduced short-term and long-term plans for economic reconstruction and development.
However, the real beginning of planning in India was made in March 1950 when the Planning Commission was established.
In July 1951, the Planning Commission of India submitted its draft outline of the First Five-year Plan to be effective from 1951-52 to 1955.
Main Features of India’s Five Year plans
The following are some of the salient features of India’s five-year plans.
1. Totally Democratic: The first and foremost important feature of Indian planning is that it is totally democratic.
2. Decentralized Planning: Decentralized planning is another feature of Indian planning which aims at achieving active participation of the people in the planning process.
3. Directed by Central Planning Authority: Another important feature of Indian planning is that a central planning authority directs it. That is the Planning Commission of India plays the role of regulatory mechanism so as to provide necessary direction and regulation over the planning process.
4. There is co-existence of central plan and state plan.
5. Periodic Plan: Another important feature of Indian planning is the adoption of a periodic plan of five-year period having five separate annual plan components.
6. In each plan, a separate outlay is earmarked both for the public sector and the private sector.
7. Guided by basic objectives: One of the important features of Indian planning is that each and every plan is guided by basic objectives, which are almost common in most of our plans.
8. Balanced regional development: Another salient feature of India’s five-year plan is that it constantly attaches, much importance on balanced regional development.
9. Perspective Planning: Indian planning has adopted the system of perspective planning for some basic issues or problems of the country.
10. Indian planning system is broadly supported by programme implementation and evaluation machinery, which used to play a very important role.
11. Another notable feature of Indian Five-year plan is its shortfalls in target realization, leads to the problem of spill over the projects into next five-year plans.
12. Five-year plans in India determine the priorities of development keeping in mind
the needs of the country.