The Ninth Plan covered the period from 1997 to 2002. The focus of the Ninth Plan was on growth with social justice and equality. The Planning Commission wanted it to be a people oriented plan where the people at large, particularly the poor will participate. The Plan was formulated keeping in mind the quality of life of people, generation of productive employment, regional balance and self - reliance.
The main objectives of the Ninth Plan are as follows :
Priority to agriculture and rural development so as to generate adequate productive employment and to eradicate poverty ;
Growth with stable prices;
To ensure food security to all, especially vulnerable sections of the society;
Providing basic minimum services of safe drinking water, primary health care facilities, universal primary education, shelter and connectivity to all in a time bound manner ;
Containing the growth of population ;
Ensuring environmental sustainability of the development process through people's participation ;
Empowerment of women and socially disadvantaged groups such as SC/STs and OBCs and minorities as agents of socio-economic change and development ;
Promotion and development of Panchayati Raj institutions, co-operative and self-help groups where the participation of people is large ; and
Strengthening efforts to build self-reliance.
The Ninth Plan considered (1) Quality of life of citizens, (2) generation of productive employment and (3) regional balance as areas of special importance for State intervention.
The Ninth Plan aimed at achievement of an average growth rate of 6.5 per cent of GDP (at market prices). The Plan aimed at investing 28.2 percent of GDP during the Plan period.
Private corporate sector 9.1%
Household sector 9.7%
Public sector 9.4%
It may be significant to note that the Plan did not contemplate deficit financing as one of the sources for mobilizing financial resources for the Plan.
The growth rate of GDP during the Ninth Plan was 5.35 percent as against the target of 6.5 percent.
The Plan did not achieve the target of investment. It aimed at an investment of 28.2 percent of GDP but it achieved only 24.2 percent.
The size of the public sector plan got reduced by 18 percent.
The fiscal deficit of the central and state governments increased during the Ninth Plan period.
The Plan failed on the external trade front. The export target was 11.8 percent but actual increase was 5.6 percent. Imports inc reased by 4.1 percent as against the target of 10.8 percent and The Ninth Plan failed to create 50 million jobs to reduce unemployment.
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