Rolling Plans

The Janta Government terminated the fifth five year plan in 1977-78 and launched its own sixth five year plan for period 1978-83 and called it a Rolling Plan.

Meaning of Rolling Plan

The meaning of the Rolling Plan was that now, every year the performance of the plan will be assessed and a new plan will be made next year based upon this assessment.

In the rolling plans there are three kind of plans. First is the plan for the current year which comprises the annual budget. Second is a plan for a fixed number of years, which may be 3, 4 or 5 years. This second plan is kept changing as per the requirements of the economy (and politics). Third is a perspective plan which is for 10, 15 or 20 years. Thus, there is no fixation of dates in respect of commencement and end of the plan in the rolling plans.

Advantages and Issues with Rolling Plans

The main advantage of the rolling plans is that they are flexible. They are able to overcome the rigidity of fixed five year plans by revising targets, projections and allocations as per the changing conditions in the country’s economy. Thus, the rolling plans allow for revisions and adjustments. In rolling plans the review of a plan becomes a continuous exercise. The effect of changed circumstances and the changed demand and supply conditions can be incorporated in the plan.

No doubt in fixed plans, the annual reviews are made, but they are getting information regarding the progress of the economy. While in case of rolling plans, the yearly reviews are such a nature that they serve the basis for the revised new five year plan every year. Such yearly review is the essence of rolling plans.

However if targets are revised each year, it becomes very difficult to achieve the targets which are laid down in the five year period. Frequent revisions make it difficult to maintain right balances in the economy which are essential for its balanced development.

So far, rolling plans have been unsuccessful in underdeveloped economies like Mexico and Myanmar and were later discarded, however in developed nations like Japan & Poland they have been successfully used.

Fate of India’s Rolling Plans

Due to political problems, Morar Ji Desai was forced to resign and his successor Chaudhary Charan Singh (was in office for 170 days) failed to sustain a parliamentary majority as alliance partners withdrew support. The new elections were held and now Indira Gandhi came back to power with thumping success in January 1980. She resumed her own strategy and new 6th plan was started on April 1, 1980 which continued till March 31, 1985.

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