This Plan took some time to draft. It was first planned as part of the “Ten Year National Economic Development Plan Outline for 1976-1985.” In February 1980, the State Council decided to redraft the country’s mid- and long-term plans. It convened a seminar to discuss the compilation of the 6th Five-Year Plan. To that end, the State Planning Commission and related departments also carried out extensive research and calculation work on the compilation of the Plan, and organized related experts to conduct scientific appraisals. The 1982 national planning meeting was again mainly focused on the drafting of the Plan. It was only in December that year that the fifth meeting of the Fifth National People’s Congress officially ratified the Plan.
It was a more comprehensive plan compared to its predecessors since it adjusted and set national economic development onto a more stable and healthy track.
General objectives of the Plan were as follows: to keep pursuing the principle of “adjust, reform, rectify and improve”; to further overcome the various challenges to economic development, and to achieve a decisive turn in the fiscal situation and lay a solid foundation for the advancement of national economic and social development under the next planning period.
Specific objectives included:
1) To achieve an average annual growth rate of five percent for industrial and agricultural products.
2) To keep the supply and quality of consumer products in line with the growth of social purchasing power and changes in consumption structure, and to keep market prices stable.
3) To vigorously cut down material consumption, particularly that of energy, and keep production in line with the availability of resources.
4) To encourage and implement enterprise technological updating, with energy saving as a priority, and to gather the capital necessary to strengthen the construction of key projects energy and communications in preparation for the 7th Five-Year Plan.
5) To assemble the country’s scientific and technological for scientific and technological research and to promote the application of new technologies, and to strenuously develop education, science and culture to accelerate the construction of an ideological and material civilization.
6) To strengthen the construction of the national defense industry, and enhance national defensive forces.
7) To strengthen production and improve economic efficiency to increase the government’s revenue, to gradually increase expenditure on economic and cultural construction and to secure a balance between fiscal revenue and expenditure and credit.
8) To strenuously develop trade, make effective use of foreign capital and actively introduce advanced technology to meet domestic needs.
9) To strictly control the growth of population, make proper employment arrangement for labor forces in the cities and towns, and continuously improve the material and cultural life of people both in cities and the rural areas based on the growth of production and productive efficiency.
10) To strengthen environmental protection efforts.
The Plan achieved great achievements. First, the overall national economy kept a stable growth. The average annual growth rate for industrial and agricultural product was 11 percent. The gross national product in 1985 reached 778 billion yuan, signifying an average annual growth of 10 percent, after inflation, since 1980.
Second, production volume of key products rose dramatically. Compared with those of 1980, 1985 saw a growth of 26.1 percent for steel, 37.1 percent for coal, 35.8 percent for electricity, 17.9 percent for crude oil, 92.8 percent for cotton and an annual growth of 21.4 percent for grain.
Third, progress was achieved in infrastructure construction and technological updating. Total investment in fixed assets for publicly owned enterprises owned reached 530 billion yuan. 496 middle and large projects were constructed and started, and another 200,000 projects were transformed and updated.
Fourth, the fiscal situation improved gradually year by year. Fiscal revenue grew by an average of 15.9 billion yuan every year, which represented an annual growth of 12 percent, thereby realizing a balance between fiscal revenue and expenditure.
Fifth, foreign trade and technological exchange entered a new phase. On the world export volume ranking, China rose from No.28 in 1980 to No.10 in 1984.
Less promising achievements included a disproportionately high fixed asset ratio. Further, consumption volumes grew too fast, and there was a fiscal over-supply. These factors were to have a negative impact on the country's stable growth.