The Seventh Five Year Plan (1985 -1990) came after the success of the Sixth Five Year Plan which laid the foundation for further economic development. The Seventh Five Year Plan saw the comeback of the Congress Party into power after a stint by the Janata Dal. During the Seventh Five Year Plan, Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister of the country. The achievements of the Sixth Five Year Plan provided a strong platform for the Seventh Five Year Plan to help bring about further improvements in terms of economic development. The Seventh Five Year Plan had a strong base after the previous Plan was successful in curbing the rate of inflation and registered an increase of production in the agricultural and industrial sector. The main aim of the Seventh Five Year Plan was to accelerate the improvement process in the economic development in the country. Special attention was paid to providing equal emphasis to all sectors of the economy. The Seventh Five Year Plan also worked towards achieving socialism in the country and expanding the production of energy.
The total plan investment for the Seventh Five Year Plan for the period of 1985-90 was estimated at Rs. 1, 80,000 crores. Out of the total investment, an amount of Rs. 39,770 was allocated for the agricultural sector which was approximately 22 per cent of the total investment.
The main objective of the Seventh Five Year Plan was to generate more scope of employment and increase productivity in terms of food. The other important aspects which constituted the Seventh Five Year Plan were :
- Reducing the level of poverty.
- Education of girls.
- Enhancing the telecommunication industry.
- Development of agriculture.
- Introduction and implementation of modern technology.
- Help small and large farmers in increasing productivity.
- Strengthen the economy of the country.
- Development of better transport facilities including inland waterways, product pipelines, civil aviation and coastal shipping.
- Emergence of Informatics.
Employment and Productivity Main Focus of the Plan
The prime focus of the Seventh Five Year Plan was to implement plans and policies which would help in increasing the production of food grains, increase employment opportunities and raise the level of productivity. According priority to small industries and food processing industries was an important aspect of the Seventh Five Year Plan. To increase employment opportunities and to reduce poverty, along with other ongoing programmes, some special programmes such as “Jawahar Rozgar Yojna” were also introduced.
- Increasing the cropping intensity.
- Increased availability of irrigation facilities.
- Extension and implementation of new agricultural technologies in low productivity regions.
- Increasing the production of food grains, edible oils, sugar, textiles and cooking fuel.
- Expansion of small and medium scale industries to provide employment opportunities.
- Capacity utilisation and efficient project implementation to increase productivity in the irrigation industry.
- Expanding the scale of the domestic market.
- Introduction of new technology in several sectors of the economy.
- The target growth for the Seventh Five Year Plan was taken as 5 per cent but by the end of the Plan, they achieved an actual growth rate of 5.7 per cent, higher than that of the target.
- The target for food grain production during the Seventh Five Year Plan was 180 million tonnes but by the end of the Plan they only managed to produce 172 million tonnes which was less than the desired target.
- Taking all the sectors into consideration, there was an increase of 3.23 per cent in terms of productivity during the Seventh Five Year Plan.
- Social injustice was reduced to a substantial level.
- The final year of the Seventh Plan (1989-90) saw the growth of National Income by 4% which was largely a contribution of secondary (manufacturing) and service sector.