Indian Planning : Importance, Objectives and Strategy


Planning is a continuous process that involves choices and decision making about allocation of available resources with the objective of achieving effective and efficient utilisation and growth of these resources. Indian planning refers to the economic development strategies and policies implemented by the Government of India in order to promote industrialization, reduce poverty, and improve the standard of living for its citizens. The planning process in India began with the adoption of the Five Year Plans, which were implemented starting in 1951. These plans outlined the goals and targets for economic growth and development in the country, and were based on the principles of mixed economy, which emphasized both public and private sector investment and production.

In India, planning is done both at the center as well as the state level. Economic planning is done by the central authority after a complete survey of the economic situation. The policy objectives are designed based on the future development goals of the country.

In India, until 2014, planning was the responsibility of the National Planning Commission that was established on March 15, 1950. The first five-year plan was prepared by the Planning Commission for the period 1951-56. The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first chairman of the Planning Commission. The Prime Minister was always the ex-officio chairman of the Planning Commission. The Deputy Chairman who was nominated by commission held the rank of a cabinet minister.

In 2014, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi dissolved the Planning Commission and replaced it by the think tank called NITI Aayog. NITI here, stands for National Institution for Transforming India.


The main objective of the Ninth Five-Year Plan was to correct historical inequalities and increase the economic growth in the country. Other aspects which constituted the Ninth Five-Year Plan were:

  • Population control.
  • Generating employment by giving priority to agriculture and rural development.
  • Reduction of poverty.
  • Ensuring proper availability of food and water for the poor.
  • Availability of primary health care facilities and other basic necessities.
  • Primary education to all children in the country.
  • Empowering the socially disadvantaged classes like Scheduled castes, Scheduled tribes and other backward classes.
  • Developing self-reliance in terms of agriculture.
  • Acceleration in the growth rate of the economy with the help of stable prices.


  • Structural transformations and developments in the Indian economy.
  • New initiatives and initiation of corrective steps to meet the challenges in the economy of the country.
  • Efficient use of scarce resources to ensure rapid growth.
  • Combination of public and private support to increase employment.
  • Enhancing high rates of export to achieve self-reliance.
  • Providing services like electricity, telecommunication, railways etc.
  • Special plans to empower the socially disadvantaged classes of the country.
  • Involvement and participation of Panchayati Raj institutions/bodies and Nagar Palikas in the development process.


  • The Ninth Five-Year Plan achieved a GDP growth rate of 5.4% against a target of 6.5%
  • The agriculture industry grew at a rate of 2.1% against the target of 4.2%
  • The industrial growth in the country was 4.5% which was higher than that of the target of 3%
  • The service industry had a growth rate of 7.8%.
  • An average annual growth rate of 6.7% was reached.


  • Economic development is the primary focus of Indian planning. India’s economic development is measured by its rising Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income.
  • INCREMENT OF NUMBER IN EMPLOYMENT : A key goal for economic planning in India is to increase employment to utilize the nation’s human resources better.
  • Planning in India has always emphasized social justice, which is connected to all other set targets. It attempts to decrease the number of poor individuals and give them access to social services and work.
  • Raising the quality of life through increased per capita income and equitable income distribution is one of India’s primary economic expected outcomes.
  • SOCIAL WELFARE AND THE PROVISION OF EFFICIENT SOCIAL SERVICES: increasing labor welfare and social welfare for all socioeconomic sectors is one of the goals of all five year plans and programs recommended by the NITI Aayog. Planning in India has included developing social services like healthcare, education, and emergency services.
  • REDUCING ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: Since independence, India’s economic planning has placed a strong emphasis on measures that will reduce inequality through progressive taxation, job creation, and job reservation.
  • Through careful economic planning, India wants to grow exports and achieve self-sufficiency in key commodities. During the third five-year plan, from 1961 to 1966, the Indian economy reached the take-off stage of development.