Ninth Plan (1997–2002)
The Ninth Five-Year Plan came after 50 years of Indian Independence. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India during the Ninth Five-Year Plan. The Ninth Five-Year Plan tried primarily to use the latent and unexplored economic potential of the country to promote economic and social growth. It offered strong support to the social spheres of the country in an effort to achieve the complete elimination of poverty. The satisfactory implementation of the Eighth Five-Year Plan also ensured the state’s’ ability to proceed on the path of faster development. The Ninth Five-Year Plan also saw joint efforts from the public and the private sectors in ensuring economic development of the country. In addition, the Ninth Five-Year Plan saw contributions towards development from the general public as well as governmental agencies in both the rural and urban areas of the country. New implementation measures in the form of Special Action Plans (SAPs) were evolved during the Ninth Five-Year Plan to fulfill targets within the stipulated time with adequate resources. The SAPs covered the areas of social infrastructure, agriculture, information technology and Water policy.
The Ninth Five-Year Plan had a total public sector plan outlay of ₹859,200 crore (US$130 billion). The Ninth Five-Year Plan also saw a hike of 48% in terms of plan expenditure and 33% in terms of the plan outlay in comparison to that of the Eighth Five-Year Plan. In the total outlay, the share of the center was approximately 57% while it was 43% for the states and the union territories.
The Ninth Five-Year Plan focused on the relationship between the rapid economic growth and the quality of life for the people of the country. The prime focus of this plan was to increase growth in the country with an emphasis on social justice and equity. The Ninth Five-Year Plan placed considerable importance on combining growth oriented policies with the mission of achieving the desired objective of improving policies which would work towards the improvement of the poor in the country. The Ninth Five-Year Plan also aimed at correcting the historical inequalities which were still prevalent in the society.
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.
Ninth Five-Year Plan looks through the past weaknesses in order to frame the new measures for the overall socio-economic development of the country. However, for a well-planned economy of any country, there should be a combined participation of the governmental agencies along with the general population of that nation. A combined effort of public, private, and all levels of government is essential for ensuring the growth of India’s economy.
The target growth was 7.1% and the actual growth was 6.8%.