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FIVE YEAR PLAN, FIRST (1955-1960) Pakistan made a hesitant start at medium-term planning The Pakistan Planning Board was established in July 1953 but without a clear vision about the country’s future economic and social structure The Board drew up a five-year development plan for the period 1955-1960 but was able to publish it in draft form only in May 1956 after the first year of the plan period had already passed However, the Planning Board had to wait for the arrival of the military government under the leadership of General Muhammad Ayub Khan before being allowed to start implementing the plan Muhammad Ayub Khan reconstituted the Planning Board as the Planning Commission and assumed its chairmanship The First Five Year Plan in many ways was a radical document- one reason why it took so long for the establishment to give it its formal approval The Plan document bore the imprint of Zahid Hussain, the chairman of the Planning Board, who wrote the introduction as well as the chapters on land reform and public administration Zahid Hussain wanted a profound structural change in Pakistani society and in the way the government was organized In the chapter on land reform, he argued for a more equitable distribution of productive assets in the countryside In the chapter on the organization of the government, he recommended the creation of an administrative structure that would permit personnel from Pakistan’s many technical services to hold senior management positions rather than leave the appointments at that level as the exclusive preserve of the elitist Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP)

If Zahid Hussain’s recommendations had been accepted and implemented, two of the most important elements in the establishment that ruled Pakistan at that time-the landed aristocracy and the civil bureaucracy in the shape of the CSP-would have seen some loosening in their grip on the levers of power The Plan’s overall targets were relatively modest: a 15 percent increase in per capita income over five years, which translated into a growth rate of only 28 percent a year in gross domestic product (GDP) Industry was to contribute significantly to the increase in national income The sector was to receive 31 percent of the resources during the plan period Housing and the settlement of the refugees from India were to get 20 percent of the resources, agriculture 7 percent, and transport and communications 6 percentEven these modest targets were not achieved, however National income increased by a mere 13 percent over the 1955-1960 period, and with the population growing at a much faster rate than that envisaged by the planners, per capita income increased by less than 1 percent a year At such a low rate of increase, Pakistan added significantly to the number of people living in absolute poverty Industry was the only sector that fared well; agriculture performed poorly; only 52 percent of the planned financial outlay was actually spent It was during the period of the First Plan that Pakistan became a net importer of food grains

See also ECONOMY

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