(ii) Increase employment opportunities;
(iii) Raise productivity;
(iv) Significant reduction in the poverty;
(v) Improvement in the quality of living for the poor in the villages and towns; and
(vi) Thus fulfill the basic objectives of growth, modernisation, self- reliance and social justice.
Total public sector outlay of Rs. 1,80,000 crores has been provided. It is expected that a growth rate of five per cent on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be achieved during this Plan.
This is in line with the growth rate achieved in the Sixth Plan and a little higher than the average for the past decade. GDP at market prices to the total investment over the Plan period is expected to be around five per cent in the Seventh Plan.
With the objectives of this five year plan as mentioned above, on the whole, during the plan period, there was 3.23 per cent increase in productivity. In order to increase employment opportunities and to reduce poverty, along with other ongoing programmes, some special programmes such as “Jawahar Rozgar Yojna” were also introduced.
In this case, the importance of small industries and food processing industries was also given due recognition. Although an outlay of Rs. 180,000 crores were earmarked for the public sector but actual amount spent in this area was Rs. 2,18,729.62 crore.
In this, there was an increase of 21.52% in this plan outlay. The average annual growth rate in the GDP during this plan period remained at 5.6 per cent which was 0.6 per cent more than the target.
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. The annual average growth of the seventh plan has been put at 5.3%, almost equally the growth rate of the sixth plan.
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi announced on February 12, 1989 that during the Eighth Plan much greater attention would be paid to generation of employment. He indicated the need for better export performance.
Job opportunities in agriculture and industry are to be increased and thus the pace of development is likely to be accelerated to deal effectively with the persistent problems of destitution, poverty and unemployment. A fresh look at the priorities is on the cards.