India’s Second Five-Year Plan was to set India on the path of industrialization. P.C. Mahalanobis was the moving spirit behind the second five year plan. He gave the highest priority to strengthening the industrial base of the economy. It was in 1948 Industrial Policy Resolution was revised and the new resolution of 1956 was adopted. There was emphasis on the expansion of the public sector and establishment of a socialistic pattern of society.
Objectives of India’s Second Five-Year Plan (1956–1961)
- Stabilize increase in national income so as to raise the level of living.
- Rapid industrialization of the country with particular emphasis on the development of basic and key industries.
- Large employment opportunities by developing labour-intensive projects and small scale industries.
- Reduction in inequalities of income and distribution.
- To gain the annual growth rate of 5%.
Assessment of India’s Second Five-Year Plan
- National income of India increased and the per capita income increased by 8%. The growth rate of per capita income was low because of higher rate of population. The national income increased from Rs. 11,670 crores to Rs. 14,140 crores and per capital income rose from Rs. 299 to Rs. 326 during the plan period at 1960-61 prices.
- Food production increased by 15% from 67 million tonnes (MT) to 75 million tonnes (MT). Production of cotton increased by 31.5%; tea by 9% and sugarcane by 22.5%. There was, however, a fall in the production of Jute.
- The Second Plan was being essentially “an industry and transport plan”, India started producing large quantities of machinery, machine tools for agriculture, industry and transport, heavy electrical equipment and scientific instrument.
- One of the major steps towards building a solid capital base was the establishment of three steel mills in the public sector with an initial capacity of 10 lakh tonnes each at Durgapur (West Bengal), Rourkela (Orissa), and Bhilai.
- Another achievement in the industrial field was the production of new items, such as tractors, newsprint, motor cycles, scooters, sulpha and antibiotic drugs, DDT, etc. Some 9.5 million jobs were created during the plan period.