Aleksei Kosygin, Report on the Directives of the 24th CPSU Congress for the Five-Year Plan for the Development of the USSR-NationalEconomy in 1971-1975. April 6, 1971
Original Source: Pravda, April 6, 1971.
… In the new five-year period, our people’s material well-being will increase first of all as a result of increases, in the wages and salaries of workers and office employees and in the incomes of collective farmers in step with growing labor productivity and the improved skills of personnel. This will provide the bulk of the increment in the population’s incomes.
The program for raising the people’s living standard envisages the implementation of a number of large-scale measures.
The CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers, with the participation of the Central Council of Trade Unions, after weighing our possibilities, have determined the sequence and schedule for implementing the planned program.
In accordance with this program, the minimum wage will be raised to 70 rubles a month in 1971, and at the same time the basic wage and salary rates of workers and office employees ill the middle pay categories of railroad transport will be increased. The basic rates for machine operators in agriculture will be increased during the same year.
As of July 1, 1971, it is planned to raise the minimum size of the pension for collective farmers and to extend to them the procedure for fixing pensions that has been established for workers and office employees.
At the same time, i.e., as of July, 1, 1971, the minimum size of the old-age pension for workers and office employees will be increased …
A high growth rate in the population’s cash incomes is to be ensured by an increase in the production of consumer goods and by the growth of trade turnover. The draft Directives envisage that with a growth Of 40% in the population’s cash incomes, sales of goods to the population will increase by 42% and the volume of paid services will increase by 47% In tile new five-year plan, market Supplies Of Such products as meat, fish, vegetable oil, eggs and vegetables will increase by 40% to 60%. The sale of clothing will increase by 35%, that of knitwear by 56%, and that of cultural and everyday goods by 80%. The rate at which the population is Supplied with refrigerators will increase from 32 per 100 families in 1970 to 64 In 1975; for television sets, the corresponding figures will be 51 and 72, and for washing machines they will be 52 and 72. By the end of the five-year plan, the sale of automobiles to tile population will have increased more than six fold in comparison to 1970.
Given the volume of the increased production and sale to the population of consumer goods, it is necessary constantly to expand and improve their assortment. The task is not only to cover customer demand in terms of quantity; the most important thing is the kind of goods the customer finds in the stores and how well they satisfy him in terms of their diversity and quality. This increases the demands on industry and trade, which must respond efficiently to all changes in demand.
It is time to intensify the responsibility of trade organizations for the correct determination of the orders they file with industry and for making goods available to the consumer in good time. For its part, industry must influence the population’s demand by producing new and improved goods.
The turnover of public catering will increase by So% during the five-year period. We must continue expanding the network of dining rooms, restaurants, and cafes, especially on construction sites, at enterprises and in educational institutions. The most important thing in the development of public catering is improving its quality and service standards.
As the draft Directives state, the stability of state retail prices will be ensured in the new five-year plan. As commodity resources accumulate, prices will be lowered on certain types of goods.
In the next few years, the production and sale of ready-to-cook products, precooked items, concentrates and other items that make the home preparation of food easier should be developed on a broad scale. We must substantially increase the production of packaged goods and develop the practice of advance orders, mail trade and other progressive trade forms.
Provision has been made for at least doubling the volume of everyday services to the population. To this end, we shall have to expand the network of workshops, tailoring shops, dry-cleaning plants, laundries and other everyday-service enterprises. In today’s conditions, everyday services should be developed as a large-scale mechanized branch.
In connection with the growth in incomes, the cultural needs of broad strata of the population are rising and new requirements are appearing. For example., tourism -is becoming more and more important. We must expand and strengthen its material base and build more hotels, campsites and other service facilities for tourists.
The draft Directives stipulate that housing with a total space Of 565,000,000 to 575,000,000 square meters will be built in 1971-1975. Housing construction will to an increasing extent be carried out according to new designs that provide for more convenient layouts and better equipment and finishing in apartments.
We should develop housing-construction cooperatives and assist individual housing construction in cities and in rural areas.
It is necessary to devote great attention to improving communal services and the provision of communities with public services and amenities. The overwhelming majority of cities and large urban-type settlements will be provided with centralized water supply. The consumption of electric power for the population’s everyday needs will increase. During the next five years, it is planned to provide 17,000,000 to 18,000,000 apartments with gas service. The level to which housing in cities is supplied with gas service will come to 65% to 75%, and in rural areas it will be 40% to 50%.
In the years of the first five-year plans, we put universal primary education into effect. In the new five-year plan, we shall complete the introduction of universal secondary education. The accomplishment of this task is of enormous political and social importance. The implementation of universal secondary education will give everyone broad possibilities for choosing an occupation that suits him, to employ his capabilities to the best advantage for the welfare of all society.
Source: Current Digest of the Soviet Press, Vol. XXIII, No. 15 (May 11, 1971), pp. 1-13.