5.20          ndian      onom
     Fourth Plan                                                         nationalisation policy continued. There was an
                                                                         overall decay in the quality of ‘governance’. A
     The Plan period was 1969–74. The Plan was based
                                                                         nexus of the ‘criminal-politician-bureaucrat’
     on the Gadgil strategy with special focus to the
     ideas of growth with stability and progress towards                 seems to emerge for the first time to hijack the
     self-reliance. Droughts and the Indo-Pak War of                     political system.70
     1971–72 led the economy to capital diversions                             The plan period was badly disturbed by
     creating financial crunch for the Plan.                             the draconian emergency and a change of the
           The politicisation of planning started from this              government at the Centre. The Janata Party came
     plan, which took serious ‘populist’ design in the                   to power with a thumping victory in 1977. As the
     coming plans. Frequent double-digit inflations,                     government of the time had then complete say in
     unreigned increase in the fiscal deficits, subsidy-                 the central planning in India, how could the new
     induced higher non-plan expenditures and the                        government continue with the Fifth Plan of the
     first move in the direction of ‘nationalisation’ and                last government which had still more than one
     greater control and regulation of the economy were                  year to reach its completion. The dramatic events
     some of the salient features of this plan, which                    related to Indian planning may be seen objectively
     continued unchanged till the early 1990s. The                       as given below:
     search for political stability at the Centre converted                    (i) The Janata Government did cut-short the
     planning into a tool of real politics with greater                              Fifth Plan by a year ahead of its terminal
     and greater ‘centralisation’ ensuing plan after plan.                           year, i.e., by the fiscal 1977–78, in place
                                                                                     of the decided 1978–79.
     Fifth Plan                                                              (ii) A fresh Plan, the Sixth Plan for the
     The Plan (1974–79) has its focus on poverty                                     period 1978–83 was launched by the new
     alleviation and self-reliance.69 The popular                                    government which called it the ‘Rolling
     rhetoric of poverty alleviation was sensationalised                             Plan’.71
     by the government to the extent of launching a
                                                                           70.    N.N. Vohra Committee Report, Government of India,
     fresh plan, i.e., the Twenty-point Programme                                 N. Delhi, 1993.
     (1975) with a marginal importance being given to                       71    It should be noted here that there is nothing like the
     the objective of ‘growth with stability’ (one of the                            olling lan in the official documents of planning
     major objectives of the Fourth Plan).                                        in India. Basically, the origin of the concept of the
                                                                                  ‘Rolling Plan’ goes back to the period when India
           The planning process got more politicised.                             went for the Annual Plans (1966–69) for the first
     The havocs of hyper-inflation led the government                             time and the critics noted it as a discontinuity in
                                                                                  the planning process, calling it a period of the ‘plan
     to hand over a new function to the Reserve Bank                              holiday’. The basic trait of the ‘Rolling Plan’ was its
     of India to stabilise the inflation (the function                            continuity, while the Congress commenced its Sixth
     which the RBI carries forward even today). A                                 Plan (1980–85) the idea of the ‘Rolling Plan’ was
     judicious price wage policy was started to check                             cancelled, as for the new Government the element
                                                                                  of ‘rolling’ (continuity) was already in the Indian
     the menace of inflation on the wage-earners. This                            Planning— India was following the approach of
     Plan saw an increase in the socio-economic and                               the ‘perspective planning’. A separate Division of
     regional disparities despite the many institutional,                         Perspective Planning was already functioning in the
                                                                                  Yojana Bhavan since the mid-1970s. The two elements
     financial and other measures which were initiated                            which ma e a plan a perspective plan are, firstly, the
     by the government to attend to them. The                                     ‘continuity’ and secondly, ‘evaluation-based’ planning.
                                                                                  For the Congress Government, logically, the planning
        69.  Experts believe this Plan to be somewhat based on the                in India was not only ‘rolling’ but more than that it was
             ideas of D.P. Dhar, the Minister for Planning at that time.          evaluation-based, too.