National Commission on Labour (1967)||
5.1 Economic development and social justice, between them, include a range of components to be pursued to reach the stated goals within a stated time-span. In our first three plans (1951—1966), the emphasis on different components of development mentioned earlier has changed according to the needs of the situation as also the goals of long-term growth. Within the stated time-span of one plan, the objectives set can be viewed in their combination differently: inter-related or competitive. For instance, without a substantial increase in investment and production, national income will not increase nor can there be a marked improvement in living standards. Building up of the economic and social overheads will be vital to this process, though their immediate results would be somewhat intangible. A simultaneous advance on these lines may mean a better utilisation of the abundant manpower in the country. Provision of adequate employment opportunities thus becomes a complementary objective. It is also possible to view the goals as competitive. A more equitable distribution of income may slow down the rate of growth of savings under certain conditions and consequently the overall growth. Emphasis on basic industries may necessitate capital intensive techniques and, in consequence, make the achievement of the employment goal difficult, at least in the initial stages. Development of relatively backward regions may involve the use of resources in a manner that may not maximise the national output in the short run.
5.2 An important element of conflict is stated to arise even within the same objective if the time-horizon over which the plans are drawn up changes. In the initial stages, the rate of savings has to be stepped up to maximise the future output. This means an adjustment in the needs of the present generation to provide a higher standard for those to come. The problem is then of mobilising larger surpluses from the current low incomes and hence of restraining increases in consumption and the standard of living of the masses. And yet, there can be little doubt that these very masses deserve relief within their life-time. But such arguments that magnify the conflict should not be carried too far. The present will have to live to bring forth the future. Also the present generation too has certain rights, certain inheritances of the past, and these cannot he staked for all times for future benefits. Whatever the way one looks at the problem, planning
would require a judicious harmonisation of various claims in accordance with the democratic aspirations of the people.
Commitment to planned development has consequences to labour. Planning implies not only foreseeing the manpower requirement and its supplies, but their coordination at various stages of development to avoid any large bottlenecks and surpluses. But, as growth takes place, new skills are required and a developing economy constantly demands higher and higher skills. For this, considerable investments have to be continuously made for the development of human resources; and since these cannot he directly remunerative in a narrow accounting sense of the term, these must come largely from the State Likewise, considerable investments are required to undertake research for a general technological advance on which depend to a large extent increases in the productivity of labour, these must also come from State resources just as the enterprises, public or private, must allocate funds according to their needs and resources for the development of their technical know-how. From the view-point of labour, an important task of planning is to find and allocate resources for the development of its skills in accordance with the requirements of the economy and, at the same time. push ahead a technological advance to increase its productivity that is consistent with the clearance of the labour market.