First plan (1951-1956)
The first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru presented the first five-year plan to the Parliament of India on 8 December 1951. The first plan sought to get the country's economy out of the cycle of poverty. The plan addressed, mainly, the agrarian sector, including investments in dams and irrigation. The agricultural sector was hit hardest by the partition of India and needed urgent attention. The total planned budget of 206.8 billion INR (23.6 billion USD in the 1950 exchange rate) was allocated to seven broad areas: irrigation and energy (27.2 percent), agriculture and community development (17.4 percent), transport and communications (24 percent), industry (8.4 percent), social services (16.64 percent), land rehabilitation (4.1 percent), and for other sectors and services (2.5 percent).
The target growth rate was 2.1 percent annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth; the achieved growth rate was 3.6 percent. During the first five-year plan the net domestic product went up by 15 percent. The monsoon was good and there were relatively high crop yields, boosting exchange reserves and the per capita income, which increased by 8 percent. National income increased more than the per capita income due to rapid population growth. Many irrigation projects were initiated during this period, including the Bhakra Dam and Hirakud Dam. The World Health Organization, with the Indian government, addressed children's health and reduced infant mortality, indirectly contributing to population growth.
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