views updated Jun 11 2018


Gosplan SSSR (Gosudarstvenny planovy komitet SSSR the State Planning Committee of the USSR), the core state committee of the Soviet economic bureaucracy, was created in 1921. During the first Five-Year Plan (19281932) Valerian Kuybyshev headed Gosplan. Gosplan was responsible for executing the directives of the Council of Ministries, translating general directives into operational plans for the ministries, and advising the Council of Ministries on a wide range of issues. Gosplan planned for the ministries, not for enterprises, although some large enterprises were planned directly by Gosplan. Gosplan communicated extensively with the ministries in the process of drafting the plan. It was subdivided into industrial departments, such as coal, ferrous metals, and machine building, and also had summary departments, such as finance, to deal with functions that crossed functional bodies. The early recognition of Gosplan's importance came in 1925 and 1926, when it began to prepare the annual preliminary plan targets, or so-called control figures. During the 1930s the principle of guidance of economic policy on an annual basis was established, although much publicity was devoted to nonoperational five-year plans. Annual plans, including production and financial targets, so-called promfinplany, were drawn up sector by sector. By 1926 and 1927, promfinplany that were originated by ministries became dependent on the control figures. Formally, the plan era began in 1928 with the First Five-Year Plan for intensive economic growth. The Five-Year Plan was a comprehensive plan that set the major economic goals for a five-year period. The five-year goals were not put into operation in the shorter-term operational plans. Once the Soviet regime stipulated the plan figures, all levels of the economy from individual enterprises to the national level were theoretically obliged to meet those goals ("The plan is the law"). During the period from 1928 to 1932, the basic principles of Soviet planning were established. Gosplan was to be the central coordinating body to which all other planning bodies were to submit their proposals. The control figures would provide the general direction for the economy. The actual detailed operational plans for enterprises (promfinplany ) were to conform to the control figures. Materials were to be allocated through a system of balances, which would elaborate the sources and uses of basic industrial materials. The long-term planning horizon was set at five years, the average period required for the completion of investment projects. Operational plans were prepared in cooperation with the planning departments of ministries, the most important of which were the all-union ministries. In day-to-day operations, inter-ministry cooperation was limited in such matters as equipment delivery and construction planning. Soviet law gave Gosplan substantial responsibilities concerning supply planning. Gosplan was charged with preparing and confirming plans for the distribution of production among ministries. It was Gosplan who prepared general material limits (limityu ) for the ministries. Later these material limits would be broken down into product profiles by the State Committee for Material Technical Supply, Gossnab, which was formed in 1947 to assist in supply planning. Gosplan remained the primary planning body of the Soviet Union until its collapse in December 1991.

See also: economic growth, soviet; five-year plans


Gregory, Paul R., and Stuart, Robert C. (2001). Russian and Soviet Economic Performance and Structure. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley.

Hewett, Edward A. (1988). Reforming the Soviet Economy: Equality Versus Efficiency. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Paul R. Gregory


views updated Jun 08 2018

Gosplan (ˈgɒsˌplæn) (formerly, USSR) State Planning Commission (Russian Gos(udarstvennaya) Plan (ovaya Comissiya))