lannin in ndia 5.5
from the 1920s, was very conscious of the need (ii) Agreement on rapid industrialisation
for decentralised planning in the country.17 for which both the plans agreed upon
an emphasis on heavy capital goods and
the bombAy PlAn basic industries (the Bombay Plan had
The Bombay Plan was the popular title of ‘A Plan allocated 35 per cent of its total plan
of Economic Development for India’, which was outlay on basic industries).
prepared by a cross-section of India’s leading (iii) Taking clues from the Soviet Planning, the
capitalists. The eight capitalists involved in this NPC and the Bombay Plan both were in
plan were Purshotamdas Thakurdas, J.R.D. Tata, favour of a simultaneous development of
G.D. Birla, Lala Sri Ram, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, the essential consumer goods industries,
A.D. Shroff, Avdeshir Dalal and John Mathai.18 but as a low-key affair.
The Plan was published in 1944–45. Out of these (iv) Both the plans agreed upon the
eight industrialists, Purshotamdas Thakurdas importance of promoting the medium-
was one among the 15 members of the National scale, small-scale and cottage industries
Planning Committee (1938);19 J.R.D. Tata, G.D. as they could provide greater employment
Birla and Lala Sri Ram, were members of the sub- and require lesser capital and lower order
committees (29 in total) of the National Planning of plants and machineries.
(v) Both the plans wanted the state to play
The popular sentiments regarding the need an active role in the economy through
of planning and criss-cross of memberships planning, controlling and overseeing the
between the NPC and the Bombay Plan club different areas of the economy, i.e., trade,
made possible some clear-cut agreements between industry and banking, through state
these two major plans, which ultimately went to ownership (public sector) or through
mould the very shape of the Indian economy after direct and extensive control over them.
Independence. We may have a look at some of the
(vi) Large-scale measures for social welfare
very important agreements:21
were favoured by both the plans, which
(i) A basic agreement on the issue of the suggested to be based on issues like,
agrarian restructuring—abolition of all right to work and full employment, the
intermediaries (i.e., zamindari abolition),
guarantee of a minimum wage, greater
minimum wages, guarantee of minimum
state expenditure on housing, water
or fair prices for agricultural products,
and sanitation, free education, social
cooperatives, credit and marketing
insurance to cover unemployment and
sickness and provision of utility services
17. A. H. Hanson, The Process of Planning: A Study of such as electricity and transportation at a
India’s Five-Year Plans, 1950–1964 (london: Oxford low cost through state subsidies.
University Press, 1966), pp. 152–55.
18. Bipan Chandra, ‘The Colonial Legacy’, p. 23.
(vii) Both the plans agreed upon a planning
19. Partha Chatterjee, ‘Development Planning and the Indian
which could do away with gross
Planning’, in Partha Chatterjee (ed.), State and Politics in inequalities. Through measures like
India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 273. progressive taxation and prevention of
20. Rakesh Mohan, ‘Industrial Policy and Contorls’, in Bimal
Jalan (ed.), Indian Economy: Problems and Prospects
concentration of wealth. Inequality was
(New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1994). considered undesirable as it tended to
21. Bipan Chandra, ‘The Colonial Legacy’, pp. 23–31. restrict the domestic market.