Industries in the Seventh Plan (1985-90)

In consonance with the guiding principles of the Seventh Plan, viz., to attain growth with social justice, and enhancing productivity, the goals of the development programmes in the industrial sector were:

1. to make sure sufficient supply of wage goods and consumer articles of mass consumption at reasonable prices and of acceptable quality;

2. to maximise the utilisation of the prevailing facilities through restructuring, enhanced productivity and upgradation of technology;

3. to focus on development of industries;

4. with large domestic market and export potential to evolve as world leaders in them;

5. to usher in ‘sunrise’ industries with great growth potential and importance to our needs; and

6. to emerge an integrated policy towards self-reliance in strategic fields and opening up of avenues for employment of skilled and trained manpower.

The Seventh Plan offered for an investment of Rs. 19,710 crore in large and medium industries and Rs. 2,750 crore for the development of village as well as small industries. Total investment in the industrial sector would hence be of the order of Rs. 22,460 crore or 12.5% of the total Plan outlay.

The annual target growth rate was 8 per cent.

It is essential to note the chief elements of the Seventh Plan industrial strategy were:

1. Rapid elimination of infrastructural constraints, by placing greater stress on additional availability of power via more efficient use of prevailing capacity as well as the set-up of new power stations involving super thermal and nuclear plants.

2. Motivation of modernisation and technological upgradation in industries such as textiles and sugar where a large number of units were established in the early portion of the 20th century.

3. Particular targets of productivity for major industries such as steel, petro-chemicals, fertilizers, non-ferrous metals, paper and cement were to be set for the Plan.

4. Export production was to be made an important portion of production in the domestic economy. An exclusive effort was to be made in chosen industries in which the country has comparative advantage and has attained a degree of industrial maturity.

5. Motivation of ‘sunrise’ industries such as telecommunications, computers, micro-electronics, ceramic composites and bio-technology. Industries were to be motivated to adopt technologies such as fibre optics, lasers, robotics etc. for improving productivity and quality.

6. Location of industries adjacent to the small district towns which were not industrialized so far would be promoted with a view to eliminating regional disparities and motivating dispersal of industries.

7. Nearly 30 per cent of industries-large and medium-had already installed pollution control system. The Seventh Plan intended to expand the coverage of this programme as also to reinforce it.

It is important to note that a review of the progress of the Seventh Plan discloses that the annual growth rate of the industrial sector involving mining, manufacturing and electricity generation during the Seventh Plan era was 8.5% which although marginally lower than targeted 8.7% was much greater than the 5.5% attained during the Sixth Plan.

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