Third Five Year Plan (1961-66)

Lesson 26 : Five Year Plans: Objectives and Achievements

Third Five Year Plan (1961-66)

The third plan emphasized on agriculture owing to Green Revolution and improving production of rice, as the work shown in first and second five year plan but due to the brief Sino – Indian war of 1962 with China and with Pakistan in 1965, weaknesses in the economy were exposed and India witnessed in price of products and hence the approach of the third plan was shifted to defence, price stabilization and development. The plan aired to achieve a significant advancement towards self sustaining growth.


  • To secure an increase in the national income of over 5% per annum.
  • To achieve self sufficiency in food grains, increase agricultural production to meet the requirement of industry and exports and India does not depend on others for food products.
  • To expand the basic industries like steel, chemicals, fuel and power.
  • To utilize fully the manpower resources of the country and ensure substantial expansion in employment opportunities thereby minimizing rate of unemployment.
  • To establish greater equality of opportunity and bring about reduction in disparities of income and wealth.


  • Construction of dams.
  • Cement and fertilizer plants built.
  • Many primary schools opened in rural areas.
  • Panchayat elections started in an effort to bring democracy to the grass root level.
  • State electricity boards and state secondary education boards were formed.
  • State road transportation corporations were formed and road building become a state responsibility.
  • The achieved growth rate of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was 4.3 percent.

Three Annual Plans (1966-69)

The Fourth Five Year Plan could not be started in 1966 due to the pressure created on the economy of the country due to Indo-Pakistan conflict in 1965, two successive years of severe drought, devaluation of the rupee and general rise in prices with erosion of the resources. Hence the IVth Five Year Plan could not be finalized; instead three annual plans were formulated between 1966 and 1969, some of the economists called this period as ‘Plan Holidays’.
Last modified: Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 7:15 AM