The country owes its global economic stature and the resilience of its economic architecture to the five-year plans formulated by the Planning Commission, which laid the foundation of a modern India, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday, asserting that this is the legacy of his party and the people of the country.
In a Facebook post, the former Congress chief said on the eve of India’s independence, the economy was in a ravaged state after two centuries of the exploitative British rule.
At this juncture, India’s founding leaders took on the momentous task of building the country from scratch and raising people’s standard of living through the visionary Planning Commission, headed by then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said.
“It was on this day in 1951 that Pt. Nehru presented the First Five-Year Plan in the Parliament. The plan had envisioned a 2.1 per cent GDP growth for that fiscal year. India outdid all predictions and recorded a GDP growth rate of 3.6 per cent,” Gandhi said.
With a focus on improving agriculture and irrigation, the work on the Bhakra dam and the Hirakud dam was started during this period, he noted.
Five IITs were also started at the end of the plan in 1956, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was set up to strengthen higher education and contracts were signed to start five steel plants, the Congress leader pointed out.
“Efforts were also made to improve posts and telegraphs, roads, railways and civil aviation,” he said.
This model of planning subsequently saw 12 successive five-year plans that laid the foundation of a modern India and led to immense growth, transforming India into a leading economy, Gandhi asserted.
The country owes its global economic stature and the resilience of its economic architecture to these plans and policies, he added.
That is the legacy of the Congress and the people of India, Gandhi said.