State Planning Committee

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State Planning Committee

 

(Gosplan of the USSR), a Union-republic body under the Council of Ministers of the USSR that implements state planning for the national economy of the USSR and is in charge of the fulfillment of national economic plans.

The Gosplan of the USSR was established by a decree of the Sovnarkom (Council of People’s Commissars) of the RSFSR of Feb. 22. 1921. during the period of the transition to peaceful economic construction. Under the leadership of the Communist Party and the Soviet government. Gosplan played a major role in working out and implementing the great plans of the construction of socialism and communism in the USSR. The welcoming address of the Central Committee of the CPSU. the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and the Council of Ministers of the USSR to the conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of Gosplan and to all workers of planning agencies of the Soviet Union emphasized this point: “National economic plans representing the expression of the economic policy of the Communist Party at all stages of the construction of the new society were the organizing and mobilizing forces for solving the central economic and social tasks” (Pravda, Feb. 23. 1971. p. I).

Prominent leaders of the CPSU headed Gosplan, including G. M. Krzhizhanovskii (1921–23, 1925–30), A. D. Tsiurupa (1923–25). V. V. Kuibyshev (1930–34). V.l. Mezhlauk (1934–37). N. A. Voznesenskii (1938–49). and A. N. Kosygin (1959–60). Gosplan’s activity is based on the Leninist ideas of socialist planning. The basic content of its work was clearly defined in the Sovnarkom decree establishing Gosplan, which set Gosplan the tasks of “working out a unified state economic plan and the methods and procedures for its implementation; and examining production programs and planning proposals of various departments and also of regional (economic) organizations in all sectors of the national economy, together with coordinating these programs and proposals with the state plan” (Collection of Statutes, 1921. no. 17, art. 106).

With the development of the economy and the expansion of interbranch, interrepublic, and international economic ties, the tasks of Gosplan have become broader and more complex, its functions and structure have changed, and its methods and forms of planning have been improved. The role of Gosplan has significantly grown with the transition of industry and other branches of the national economy to the new methods of management worked out by the September (1965) plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The main task of Gosplan today is the elaboration, in accordance with the Program of the CPSU, the directives of CPSU congresses, the instructions of the Central Committee of the CPSU. and the decisions of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, of five-year economic plans, long-term plans, and also annual plans for the development of the national economy of the USSR. Gosplan’s work ensures balanced development of the USSR’s economy, the steady increase in the people’s standard of living, the strengthening of the country’s defense capability, and the uninterrupted growth and increased efficiency of social production, with the aim of creating the material-technological base for communism.

Gosplan strives, in its work, to produce optimum plans based on the economic laws of socialism, the contemporary achievements and long-range prospects of the development of science and technology, the scientific investigation of economic and social problems of communist construction, and the comprehensive study of social needs. The plans must reflect the correct combination of sector and territorial planning, as well as the correct combination of centralized planning with the economic independence of enterprises and organizations.

Gosplan has the support of ministries, departments, the state planning commission of Union republics, and scientific organizations in implementing its plans. With their participation, it works out the basic policies of the long-run development of the national economy and organizes projects for long-range and current plans that provide for the steady rise of all sectors of the national economy, the increased effectiveness of social production, high rates of growth of the national income, an improved structure of social production, the proper use of material, labor, and natural resources, the rational distribution of the productive forces on the country’s territory (taking into account both specialization and the cooperative character of production), and the overall development of the economy of the Union republics and economic regions, balancing the interests of the republics and regions with the interests of the national economy as a whole.

The plans worked out by the Gosplan of the USSR provide for measures that ensure further technological progress, the most rapid application of the latest technology and scientific achievements in the national economy, the increased output of new products with technologically advanced qualitative indexes, the comprehensive mechanization and automation of production, the increased effectiveness of capital investments, the acceleration of the exploitation of basic capital stocks and productive capacities, and the complete assimilation of operating and newly introduced capacities. Gosplan also works out goals for labor productivity, the use of labor resources, the provision of skilled workers and specialists to the national economy, the increased profitability of production, and the improved use of financial resources. The plans provide for the systematic increase in the living standards of the Soviet people, based on the high rate of growth of national income. Measures to strengthen the defense of the country are also outlined in the plans.

Gosplan prepares proposals for the coordination of national economic development plans of the USSR with those of other member-countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, on the basis of the further extension of the socialist division of labor and the improvement of intergovernmental specialization and coordination of production. Gosplan works out proposed plans of development of foreign trade and economic collaboration with other countries.

The Gosplan of the USSR makes extensive use of the balance method of planning. It works out material, labor, and cost balances and also the balance of the national economy as a whole for the USSR and for the Union republics. In order to obtain maximum benefits from the achievements of scientific and technological progress and to ensure the fullest possible involvement of the resources of enterprises. Gosplan applies progressively scaled technical-economic norms and standards, including those for the use of productive capacities and the expenditure of material resources in production and construction, the expenditure of labor, and specific capital investments. Various kinds of prognostic materials are also used. This promotes the establishment of correct natural-material and cost proportions in the national economy and, above all. between the production of the means of production and the production of articles of consumption: between industry and agriculture; between social production and construction; between the production and the transport of goods by the basic forms of transport: and between retail sales turnover, services to the population, and monetary payments to the population. The calculations and bases of the plans are made with the use of economic-mathematical methods and electronic computer technology.

The Gosplan of the USSR coordinates the development plans of sectors. Union republics, and economic regions; it also coordinates all goals and sections of the plans. The goals in the plans are worked out in terms of departmental responsibility of the ministries, departments, and Union republics, assuring the directive nature of the plans and allowing for verification of their fulfillment. In examining the proposed plans of ministries, departments, and councils of ministers of Union republics, Gosplan searches for the most effective paths for the development of the sectors of the national economy. Union republics, and economic regions, combining their interests with the interests of the state as a whole and opposing the separate tendencies of departmental “empire-building” and of sectionalism.

In addition to the tasks of state plans established by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Gosplan of the USSR directly approves a number of goals having a great significance for the balanced development of the national economy and its main sectors. Specifically these target areas include balances and plans of distribution of products according to established brands; the reduction of rates of expenditure of material resources; construction-assembly work fulfilled under contract and by a firm’s own works department; prospecting; and the work of design organizations. Gosplan makes changes in the goals of the national economic plan when it is required by related but independent decisions of the government of the USSR, the introduction of new prices in accordance with established practice, or other factors not taken into account in the confirmed plans. Together with the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Gosplan organizes scientific research on general economic problems of national economic development. Gosplan is responsible for improving the scientific level of state planning, establishing the economic validity of the proposed plans of national economic development, developing the national economy in a balanced and coordinated manner, properly distributing productive forces.

Gosplan supervises the fulfillment of national economic plans by ministries, departments, Union republics, enterprises, and organizations. It uncovers reserves for increasing production; for using productive funds, capacities, and material resources more effectively; and for improving profitability and other economic indexes of the development of the sectors of the national economy of the USSR. Gosplan systematically reports to the government of the USSR on the progress of the fulfillment of the plans and develops measures for preventing and eliminating disproportions in national economic development, presenting these measures to the Council of Ministers of the USSR.

The Gosplan of the USSR, within the limits of its authority, issues decrees that must be implemented by all ministries, departments, and other organizations. In its overall planning and in individual national-economic problems, Gosplan is granted the authority to enlist the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the academies of sciences of the Union republics, branch academies of sciences, scientific research and drafting institutes, and design and other organizations and institutions, as well as individual scientists, specialists, and advanced workers in industry.

The Gosplan of the USSR consists of the chairman of the committee, appointed in accord with the Constitution of the USSR by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and the deputy chairmen and other members, who are personally appointed by the Council of Ministers of the USSR. A collegium consisting of the Gosplan chairman (who is also chairman of the collegium), the deputy chairman of Gosplan, and other directors is confirmed by the Council of Ministers of the USSR; it effectively guides the activity of the Gosplan of the USSR and the planning commissions of the Union republics.

The Gosplan apparatus consists of sector and consolidated departments corresponding to the basic tasks and functions in the planning of the national economy. Sector departments make plans for various sectors of industry and for agriculture, transport, trade turnover, foreign trade, culture and education, health care, housing and municipal services, and the domestic services (welfare) of the population. These departments, taking into account proposals presented by ministries, departments, and republics, work out long-range and current development plans for the corresponding sectors of industry and for other branches of the national economy; the departments work together with Gosplan’s balance departments to ensure the coordination of the needs of the national economy with available resources. These Gosplan departments also develop measures for using existing reserves to increase production. The consolidated departments (including the consolidated department on the national economic plan, the department on territorial planning and the distribution of productive forces, the consolidated department on capital investments, the consolidated department on material balances and plans of distribution, the labor department, and the finances and prime-cost section department) are in charge of developing draft national economic plans for the country as a whole and for subdivisions according to economic sector and to territory. The consolidated departments ensure the necessary coordination, balance, and proportionality in the development of the sectors of the national economy; they prepare a system of indexes, forms, and methodological instructions for drawing up plans; they carry out an analysis of the fulfillment of national economic plans and prepare reports to Gosplan and the Council of Ministers of the USSR; and they coordinate the work of Gosplan’s sector departments.

The State Appraisal Commission is a component part of Gosplan and consists of important scientists and specialists who examine the most important national economic problems; analyze the general scheme of development of sectors of the national economy; study the siting of enterprises and regional specializations, as well as the overall economic development of economic regions; and examine proposals of major construction complexes. In 1965 the Interdepartmental Commission on Questions of Economic Reform was organized within Gosplan. It was entrusted with methodological leadership in implementing economic reforms in the national economy and with the study and reduction to general principles of the application of the new system of management in sectors of the national economy. The commission is also responsible for the further development and improvement of the system of planning and economic incentives and for the preparation, together with the ministries and departments of the USSR and the Councils of Ministers of the Union republics, of proposals to improve the organization and administration of industry.

Gosplan departments share a main computing center that uses electronic computer technology to calculate the planning targets (indexes). Attached to Gosplan is a scientific research economic institute, the Council for the Study of Productive Forces, the Institute of Complex Transport Problems, and the Scientific Research Institute of Planning and Standards. Since 1923 the State Planning Committee has published a journal, Planovoe khoziaistvo (The Planned Economy).

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Proekt osnovnogo punkta postanovleniia STO ob ob-shcheplanovoi kommissii.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 42, p. 338.
Lenin, V. I. “Ob edinom khoziaistvennom plane.” Ibid., pp. 339–17.
Lenin, V. I. “O pridanii zakonodatel’nykh funktsii Gosplanu.” Ibid., vol. 45, pp. 349–53.
Direktivy KPSS i Sovetskogo pravitel’stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam, vol. 1. Moscow, 1957. Pages 27–28, 84–86, 203–04.
Resheniia partii i pravitel’ stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam, vol. 5, Moscow, 1968. Pages 640–85.
Materialy XXIII s”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1966.
Materialy XXIV s”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Kuibyshev. V. V. Izbr. proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1958. Pages 265–68.
Strumilin, S. G. Planirovanie v SSSR. Moscow, 1957.
Baibakov, N. K. “Gosudarstvennoe planovoe rukovodstvo—vazhneishee uslovie uspeshnogo razvitiia ekonomiki SSSR.” Planovoe khoziaistvo, 1971, no. 2, pp. 5–19.

N. P. LEBEDINSKII

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