Basic methodological principles of planning

The fundamental principle of state planning is the principle of social orientation and priority of public needs. It assumes that the planning and forecasting of the development of the economy should proceed from the interests of the individual and society. The satisfaction of the needs of the people determines the people’s plans and forecasts. The economy should not and cannot develop outside the interests of personal and public consumption.

The results of ignoring this principle in the conditions of the planned and directive economy in the USSR and the BSSR are obvious. The consumer sphere according to the main parameters of development is characterized by:

low consumption. If in developed countries the expenditure on final consumption of households in the gross national product exceeds 60%, then in the former USSR – less than 50%; low share of wages in newly created social value. In the United States, in the pure product of industry, it is 64-65%,  in our country – 36%. This indicator in developed countries does not change significantly, and in our country over the past 60 years it has decreased from 58.1% in 1928 to 36.6% in the mid-80s; low share of state provision for public consumption (public consumption funds). The share and absolute values of capital investments in the service sector in our country are an order of magnitude lower than in developed countries; extremely low level of technological support for industries producing consumer goods and providing services; poor quality of goods and services.

Resource potential of population consumption in the USSR
(in percentage) compared to the corresponding data for the United States in the mid-80s. looks like this:

total consumption                index — 34,4

meals                                 — 54,0

clothing and footwear                        — 39,0

durable        goods — 14,0

education                                 — 77,0

alcohol                                 — 118

housing                                         — 15

transport                                 — 11,8

paid services                         — 19,9

Currently, these figures have declined and continue to fall. The amount of consumer goods (goods, services) that meets the personal and social needs of the population should act as a social order, mandatory for execution in any circumstances,  and  be reflected in national plans.

The principle of social orientation and priority of social needs should be complemented by the principle of social justice, which is implemented through the system of social guarantees and  the equalization of unjustified differences in incomes of the population and enterprises.

The most important principle of planning is the principle of increasing the efficiency of social production, which requires that all the goals and objectives of planning be carried out at the lowest cost, i.e. with the maximum economy of living and materialized labor in the production of a unit of production, works and services. It is implemented through various forms and directions of resource saving and is manifested through a system of performance indicators: an increase in labor productivity, a decrease in the material intensity of production and an increase in capital returns. The principle of increasing the efficiency of social production is particularly important for planning the economy of the Republic of Belarus during the transition period. Focused on material-intensive production in the absence of a sufficient amount of its own resources, the economy of the republic is in an extremely difficult situation, the way out of which is possible subject to the strictest regime of saving all types of resources, and first of all, energy and metal resources.

The most important methodological principle of planning the country’s macroeconomic development is the principle of proportionality and balance. The market, directly dependent on production and its decisive importance in satisfying social needs, forms a powerful economic mechanism for regulating and stimulating production, its technical improvement; stimulates the production of those products that satisfy the stocks of consumers. However, the state should form the proportions and structure of social production that meet the interests of the whole society through the planning system.

The implementation of this principle involves:

equivalence of the exchange of the results of production activity in all spheres of social production; the balance of public demand and supply throughout the national economic turnover of resources; parity of all forms of ownership in the use of material, labor, financial resources of society.

Balanced economic development should ensure consistency in the levels of development of individual spheres, industries, territorial divisions of social production, on the one hand, and satisfaction of production and non-production needs of society , on the other. The principle of proportionality and balance is aimed at maintaining material and value proportions and is manifested through general economic, intersectoral, sectoral and territorial proportions.

The most important principle of planning is the principle of priority. The need to choose priority areas in the development of the economy is due, firstly, to limited resources and, secondly, the need to solve the most important national tasks. This predetermines the placement of tasks in a hierarchical sequence: by the degree of importance and by the time of implementation.

The principle of continuity of planning ensures the coordination of short-term and long-term goals and objectives of the socio-economic development of the country, allows achieving their consistency and unidirectionality. This principle is implemented through a system of long-term, medium-term and current planning and forecast documents.