lannin in ndia        5.23
     1991–92 should be treated as two separate Annual                          (v) subsidies need restructuring and
     Plans. The two consecutive Annual Plans (1990–                                 refocussing;
     92) were formulated within the framework of the                          (vi) planning immediately needs to be
     approach to the Eighth Plan (1990–95) with the                                 ‘decentralised’;
     basic thrust on maximisation of employment and                          (vii) special emphasis on ‘co-operative
     social transformation.                                                         federalism’ suggested;
     Eighth Plan                                                            (viii) greater focus on ‘agriculture’ and other
                                                                                    ‘rural activities’ was suggested for which
     The Eighth Plan (1992–97) was launched in                                      the Plan cited empirical evidences as
     a typically new economic environment. The                                      they encourage the economy to achieve
     economic reforms were already started (in                                      enhanced standard of living for its people
     July 1991) with the initiation of the structural                               and to promote the cause of balanced
     adjustment and macro-stabilisation policies                                    growth—a shift in the mindset of
     necessitated by the worsening balance of                                       planning.
     payments, higher fiscal deficit and unsustainable
                                                                                As the economy moved towards liberalisation,
     rate of inflation.
                                                                          criticism came from every quarter against the
          This was the first plan which went on for                       move. The process of planning was also criticised
     an introspection of the macro-economic policies                      on the following counts:
     which the country had been pursuing for many
                                                                                (i) As economy moves towards the market
     decades. The major concerns and pathbreaking
                                                                                    economy, the planning becomes
     suggestions80 which this Plan articulated may be
     summarised as follows:
                                                                               (ii) When the state is ‘rolling back’, planning
           (i) an immediate re-definition of the state’s
                                                                                    makes no sense;
                  role in the economy was suggested;
                                                                              (iii) The planning process should be ‘re-
         (ii) ‘market-based’ development advised
                                                                                    structured’ in the era of liberalisation;
                  in areas which could afford it, i.e., a
                  greater role for the private sector in the
                  economy;81                                                  (iv) There should be increased thrust on the
        (iii) more investment in the infrastructure                                 ‘social sector’ (i.e., education, healthcare,
                  sector, especially in the laggard states as                       etc.)
                  the ongoing emphasis on greater private                 Ninth Plan
                  sector investment could not be attracted
                  towards these states;                                   The Ninth Plan (1997–2002) was launched when
                                                                          there was an all round ‘slowdown’ in the economy
        (iv) rising non-plan expenditure and fiscal
                                                                          led by the South East Asian Financial Crisis
                  deficits need to be checked;
                                                                          (1996–97). Though the liberalisation process
       80.    It should be noted here that the kind of economic reforms   was still criticised, the economy was very much
              India started in 1991–92 were almost ditto suggested by the out of the fiscal imbroglio of the early 1990s.
              Eighth Plan. The suggestions were based on India’s own
              experience and the experiences of the world economies       With a general nature of ‘indicative planning’,
              after the Second World War. The Sixth and the Seventh       the Plan not only did target an ambitious high
              Plans had suggested almost on the similar lines which
              made the Governments of the time go for the so-called
                                                                          growth rate (7 per cent), but also tried to direct
              ‘liberalisation’ moves in the mid-1980s                     itself towards time-bound ‘social’ objectives.
       81.    C. Rangarajan, Indian Economy, p. 275–276.                  There was an emphasis on the seven identified