What was the major thrust of the First Five Year Plan? In which ways did the Second Plan differ from the first one?

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K.N. Raj was involved in drafting the First Five-Year Plan. He argued that India should ‘hasten slowly’ for the first two decades as a fast rate of development might endanger democracy.

The major thrust of the First Five-Year Plan was as follows:

a. Importance was given to the agrarian sector, with emphasis on increasing production of food grains, jute, cotton, etc.

b. It emphasised on greater investment in building dams for irrigation, which Pt. Nehru rightly referred as Temples of Modern India.

c. Huge allocation of funds for multipurpose projects like the Bhakhra Nangal Dam.

d. Introduction of land reforms so as to revamp agrarian sector and bring about agricultural growth and prosperity.

The thrust of the First Five-Year Plan was different from that of the Second Five-Year Plan as the latter laid emphasis on the following:

a. The Second Five-Year Plan was drafted a team of economists and planners under the leadership of P. C. Mahalanobis

b. It laid emphasis on industrialisation. The plan gave priority to set up a ‘Socialist pattern of society’ on the basis of Industrial Policy Statement 1956.

c. The plan focused on quick structural transformation by accelerating the process of industrialisation with emphasis on basic and heavy industries like railways, steel, energy, etc.

d. The government imposed substantial tariffs on imports to protect domestic industries.

e. If we compare the data, government share in the industrial sector increased from 7.5% to 18.5% and that of agriculture decreased from 15.1% to 11.8%.

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