MOSCOW Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev unveiled his first five-year plan Friday a document that criticized the policies of past leaders, hinted at increased defense spending and promised strong economic growth.
The plan, published by the official Soviet news agency Tass, described the next five years as a “Turing point in the economic and social development of the country.”
It predicted the economy would grow at a 4.7 percent annual rate and that production output would be doubled by the end of the century. However, the plan the basis for the Soviet Union’s economic planning provided no details as to how the Kremlin would achieve those goals.
It simply repeated Gorbachev’s statements since he came to power that better use would be made of existing factories and enterprises rather than spending on vast new showcase projects that are economically unfeasible and poorly utilized.
Western analysts said the plan reinforced the impression Gorbachey had yet to come up with a comprehensive economic program for the country.
The plan gave no exact figures for defense spending but sid that “in view of the international situation, the U.S.S.R. has had to make additional efforts to maintain its defense capability.”
Although the announced Soviet military budget has remained steady for years at around $22 billion, Western experts believe the real figure is nearer the U.S. military budget some 10 times higher.
The plan promised that incomes would rise 60 to 80 percent by the end of the century and that each family would finally have an apartment of its own.
It also predicted a five to sevenfold increase in the use of nuclear energy and the increased introduction of new technology, including computers that are still rare in the Soviet Union.
The only hint of exchange was plans to introduce incentives for agricultural production. The average wage for collective farmers. should increase over the next five years by 18 to 20 percent, the plan predicted.
In another development, Gorbachev said in a letter to six World leaders that he would agree to an international request for a one year extension of his moratorium on nuclear tests, which began Aug. 1, unless the United states participated in the test ban.
The letter was a response to the leaders of six countries Argentina, Mexico, Sweden, India, Tanzania and Greece who last week urged Moscow and Washington to begin a one year ban on all nuclear tests starting Jan. 1.
Article extracted from this publication >> November 15, 1985