Eighth Five Year Plan of our country runs through the period from 1992 to1997. Prior to start of the plan, there was a period of economic instability in India and hence no five year plan was implemented during 1991-1992. In 1991, India faced a crisis in Foreign Exchange (Forex) reserves, left with reserves of only about US$1 billion. Thus, under pressure, the country took the risk of reforming the socialist economy. P. V.
Narasimha Rao was the twelfth Prime Minister of the Republic of India and head of Congress Party, and led one of the most important administrations in India’s modern history overseeing a major economic transformation and several incidents affecting national security. At that time Dr. Manmohan Singh (currently, Prime Minister of India) launched India’s free market reforms that brought the nearly bankrupt nation back from the edge. It was the beginning of privatisation and liberalisation in India. Modernization of industries was a major highlight of the Eighth Plan.
Under this plan, the gradual opening of the Indian economy was undertaken to correct the fiscal deficit and foreign debt. Meanwhile India became a member of the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995. This plan can be termed as Rao and Manmohan model of Economic development. The major objectives included, controlling population growth, poverty reduction, employment generation, strengthening the infrastructure, Institutional building,tourism management, Human Resource development, Involvement of Panchayat raj, Nagar Palikas, N. G.
O’S and Decentralisation and people’s participation. Energy was given priority with 26. 6% of the outlay. Further, Self-sufficiency in agricultural production was a top priority since most of the population depended on that. The 8th Five Year Plan targeted a GDP growth rate of 5. 6%. Achievements of the planned targets show that the 8th Five Year Plan had been more successful. Self sufficiency in food grains was achieved. Production of food grains increased to 176. 22 million tonnes from 51 million tonnes which was a huge leap in comparison to the previous years.
GDP shot up to a whopping 6. 3% during the 8th Five Year Plan compared to 4. 3% during the 7th Five Year Plan. With regard to domestic savings as a percentage of GDP, the 8th Five Year Plan reached 24. 4% while in the 7th Year Plan the figure was 20. 2%. As far as the contribution of the export earnings is concerned the 8th Year Plan contributed 10. 1% to the GDP while the 7th Year Plan contributed 9. 9% to the GDP. In a nutshell the 8th five year Plan was more successful in meeting its objectives as compared to the previous five year plan.